Socialization Terms Definition and Explanation
Part One Socialization:
1. Socialization: is the social process whereby people undergo development by
interacting with the people around them.
A. Socialization is the vital link between individuals and society.
B. Socialization thus makes social interaction, social organization, and social order
C. Socialization helps to explain both similarities and differences among people in a
2. Primary socialization: is the crucial learning process that occurs in childhood and
makes us members of society.
3. Secondary socialization: is learning that occurs after people have undergone
A. Example: Learning to be a student, spouse or parent, learning a job, making new
4. Gender socialization: is the process by which individuals learn to become
feminine and masculine according to expectations current in their society.
A. A culture defines male and female roles as sharply different, parents raise boys
and girls so that they will be sharply different.
B. Parents are usually the first source of children’s gender learning, and indications
are that parents hold and communicate different expectations for males and females.
C. The mass media, present idealized images and stereotypes of appropriate
masculine and feminine characteristics.
D.Stereotyping contributes to the streaming of males and females into traditional
“male” and “female” jobs.---Developing a “self-fulfilling prophecy”.
5. Adult socialization: is the process by which adults take on new statuses and
acquire new and different social identities.
A. Adults generally have the control over the content and direction of their
B. Marriage is the most important example of adult socialization: most socialization
consists of a couple learning, through trial and error, how to get along with each other
and with members of the extended family.
C. Becoming a parent: because children grow and change, adults must continually
adapt and accommodate to changing circumstance.
6. Anticipatory socialization: involves beginning to take on the norms and behaviors of a role you aspire to but do not yet occupy.
A. “ The process by which aspirants to a particular social role begin to discern what it
will be like to function in that position.”
B. Through interaction with people who act out various roles, and by observing how
roles are portrayed in the mass media, adolescents learn to incorporate the
perspectives and expectations of the larger society and imagine what it would by like
to enact the roles to which they aspire.
7. Agents of socialization: are the individuals, groups and institutions that impart, and
from which we acquire, the range of information required to interact effectively and
participate in society.
A. Examples of agents of socialization: schools, mass media, parents, peers....
B. Family: parents are in a powerful position to influence their child. They have a
strong emotional bond to their children.
C. Schools: The role schools play in teaching children how to fit into the social
system, follow rules, respect authority, obey, complete and achieve success. Of all the
functions of the school, adjusting children to its social order may be the most
D. Peer group: a peer group comprises individuals who are usually of the same age
and enjoy approximately equal status. The peer group is the only agent of
socialization in childhood and youth that is not controlled mainly by adults. Peer
seems to have the greatest influence in lifestyle issues, such as appearance, social
activities and dating.
E. Mass media and new communication technology: The mass media enable
adolescents to engage in self-socialization by selecting socialization influences from a
wide array of mass media offerings.
F. Other socializing agents: religious institutions; athletic teams, youth
groups,people-processing institutions (hospitals, correctional facilities...)
8. Resocialization: is the deliberate attempt to correct or instill particular values and
behaviors in an individual or group. (usually members of tightly knit groups)
A. Resocialization and total institutions: