• Socialization: Process through which people learn their culture’s basic
norms, values, beliefs and appropriate behaviors.
• Agents of socialization: People or groups who teach us about our culture
o For children, family is a big agent of socialization. As they grow, other
agents take on important roles, like school, media, peers, workplace,
o Family: Plays a crucial role in early development of a child’s sense of
identity. First teachers of gender roles.
o School: Daycare, preschool or kindergarten is many children’s first
extended experience with people and the world outside of their home.
They learn to interact with others, be a part of a group.
▪ Hidden curriculum: Implicit lessons about how children should
behave. Tend to teach them to be quiet, attentive, obey
authority, follow rules, be respectful of others, take pride in
their country, and encourage competition and individual
achievement with sports/spelling bees.
o Media: Today’s children and teens have been called “Generation M”
because of their heavy use of media. US children between 8 and 18
spend 7.5 hours a day with media outside of school. 70% of kids now
have a TV in their room; half have a video game system and 1/3 have
o Peer groups: A group of people of comparable age, who share similar
interests and social status. Adolescents usually become increasingly
independent of their families and peer groups come in more.
o Occupational socialization: The process of learning the informal
norms associated with a type of employment. As you study/train,
you’re picking up all sorts of cues. How to work with others.
▪ Pro-bono: free of charge work to learn the ropes
o Religion: Socializing agent most explicitly focused on the teaching of
values and beliefs. Used to have enormous influence but that’s
declined a bit.
o Total institutions: Confining social settings in which an authority
regulates all aspects of a person’s life. Care for people who are
harmless-Orphanages, nursing homes, care for people who represent
an unintentional threat- psychiatric hospitals, protect a community
from those whom authorities define as posing significant danger-jails,
prisons, POW camps, pursue a specific task requiring total
commitment of participants-boarding schools, military barracks,
escapes or retreats from the world-monasteries, convents, communes.
▪ Resocialization: the process by which individuals replace old
norms and behaviors with new ones as they move from one
role or life stage to another.
Socialization through the Life Course
• Life-course perspective: Looks at how age, time and place shape identities
and experiences over a lifetime • Rites of passage: Activities that mark and celebrate a change in a person’s
• Anticipatory socialization: Process by which individuals practice for a
future social role by adopting the norms or behaviors associated with a
position they have not yet achieved. Children do this when they imitate and
practice adult roles, playing with dolls like parents, playing school to pretend
students or teachers.
• Childhood: We view them as limited, physical condition. Other
cultures/times think there wasn’t as much as a difference between children
• Adolescence: Youth are nearing physical maturity, not children but not
adults. Wasn’t seen as a distinct period of life until the early twentieth
o Middle class teens could afford to not work full-time
o School became more important, so they’d finish high school and
o Since not working full-time, more leisure time and began to be
consumers of youth-oriented products, eventually resulting in