Analysis the Process of Socialization

Describe and analyze the process of socialization. 


A Brief Essay on Socialization

 For any individual to respond to the question of who am I or who she is, is a task which apparently appear to be superficial but in reality are stemming from ideas, roles, processes that societies have ingrained into humans. Internalizing the norms and ideologies of the society and creating one’s own ideology about her or his own self, is a process taking its roots from sociology and is the process of socialization (Lacey, 2012). In other words, the concept of socialization is the process that encompasses both teaching and learning and depicts the means by which cultural and social continuity are attained in an individual. This socialization is very firmly associated with developmental psychology. Human beings are social creatures and need social experiences to be aware about their own culture and knowledge about one’s surroundings and this knowledge becomes critical for them to survive. This socialization in reality represents the entire process of learning which starts once an infant is born into a family, and throughout the life time of such and is the main influencer of her behaviour, actions, beliefs in her childhood as well as in her adult life (Baltes & Schaie, 2013). 
This socialization, may lead to a number of desirable outcomes which are at times depicted as “morals” by the society. Individual views of themselves and about the surroundings are shaped by the society’s consensus and generally focus towards what the society feels is acceptable and suitable. Hence, socialization can be defined as the process through which the individuals are taught to become members of a society and be aware of the values prevalent in the society. Social groups act as agents which provide an individual about the very first experience of socialization. These social groups are – families in the early childhood and peer groups in the later stages. 
Families act as the very first agent of socialization and a large number of social factors further impact the manner in which a family raises its children. Peer groups are on the other hand built up of individuals who are similar age wise and social status and share common interests (Grusec & Hastings, 2014). Peer groups help in providing their own opportunities of socialization as kids since being small engage in different activities which they don’t do with their families. Other institutional agents, like schools, educational institutions, workplaces, religion, governments, and mass media all contribute towards the individual being that individual. This socialization of the individual presents a half explanation of the human behaviours and beliefs, stating that individuals wholly cannot be predetermined by environment alone. Well this having being true, as human individuals are also guided by their own genetic predisposition as well as proven by science. So to go back to answer the question “Who am I” will take answers from what genes an individual has received courtesy centuries of her family history and origin and also the society in which the individual was born into. 
For every individual, the socialization agents mentioned above play a key role in shaping the person she is, but however, the impact each of these socialization agents have on individuals are not same and varies with individuals and depends on how strong and stringent they were during the growth and the adulthood of the individual. For the purpose of this essay, four agents of socialization will be focused upon which helped in shaping who I am, and these are – family, school, peer groups and mass media. 
Socialization is not a once in a lifetime event which is stamped on an individual at one instance. It is a lifelong process, and though the sociological agents change with the age of the individuals, the process of socialization continues lifelong. 
Families act as the very first agents of socialization and family members, especially parents teach a child the most important values of life (Lytton, 2013). They teach the child to use objects, teach her how to relate to others and the manner in which the world works. Socialization through family helps one to learn about the unending notions and ideas about innumerable things. Like mentioned earlier, families teach values which they feel are pertinent due to their own socialization process and social factors affecting them (Barber, 2013). My family too acted as my first socialization agent. I learnt the importance of hard work, education, compassion, service to the society and creativity. I consider myself as a fairly creative and compassionate person, and till now have tried to remain focused about my education. I have understood the importance of education, and how lucky I am to be able to born in such a family whose values have been embedded in my being. I am associated with social work, as I feel that urge has also stemmed from my family. 
School has been the second important socialization agent for me. I met the best of teachers and faculty members there, and met my peer group as well. Schools are critically important for the development of individuals, as in every developed and emerging nation, children spend maximum hours in school settings. They do not go there to only learn about varied subjects, but admirable behaviours like teamwork, camaraderie, friendship, importance of schedules and overall helps individuals find their true vocations (Lawson, Petersen, Cousins, & Handfield, 2009). It is in school, that I realized my love for social subjects and decided to pursue such in my later life. It is in school, I met my best of friends, learnt about the global economy, learnt to develop and put forward my own notions and ideas about the world. In other words, it is school who has majorly shaped me the way I am. 
Peer groups are the next most important socialization agent in my case.  A typical peer group is made up of individuals who are in a similar age bracket, and belong to more or less the same social status, and who share common interests. This peer group socialization starts at one of the earliest years, when kids start socializing in playgrounds and in random plays. This process intensifies when the children start entering into their teenage. Peer groups are tremendously importance to adolescents as they then begin to develop their own identity distinct from their families and assert independence. And as mentioned, Peer groups help in providing their very own opportunities and situations of socializations which are very different from how the families socialize (Arnon, Shamai, & Illatov, 2008). In my case, school has been the meeting ground for my peer group, and till now my peer groups constitute of individuals hailing from my school life and then college. I learnt how to be open to new ideas, try new things, have a more global and open world view, learnt about my interest for soccer, and reinstated my interest in photography from my peer group. It is with this socialization agent, I have shaped my personal life and the contribution of this agent for shaping who I am cannot just be ignored. 
Lastly, mass media is chosen as the fourth socialization agent for me. This refers to all the distribution of information to a global audience through many mediums. With individuals hooked on to social media, on an average of 3 hours a day, and children engaging in even more TV time, the media greatly impacts the way social norms are formed and impact individuals (Wang, Yu, & Wei, 2012). Well I am no exception to it. I learn about subjects I am interested in, as well as the media reports help in shaping my viewpoints about global politics and world view. Hence, it cannot be denied that what I am today, a part of it has to be credited to the mass media as a socialization agent. 
How these four socialization agents have shaped my childhood and my erstwhile adulthood, needs a bigger scope and will be beyond the purview of this essay. As aging procedure progresses, social roles start evolving and the importance of responsibility and commitment sets in and these acts as the cornerstones of adulthood. Individuals are expected to settle down, resulting in social unions named as marriages, and progress further generations. With the age progressing further, socialization continues and ultimately leads to re-socialization where the old behaviors which seemed to be helpful and relevant in previous life roles now are removed consciously as they are of no longer use. This process of re-socialization is generally more stressful and painful than regular socialization, as individuals often have to consciously unlearn behaviours which were customary to the self. 
Hence, to go back to the start of the essay on the question “Who am I?” , the answer of such is not an objective one and keeps on changing as the age progresses in an individual and socialization process goes on. The purpose of this paper was to give the reader a brief comprehensive idea about socialization and how it shapes the concept of self. 

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Baltes, P., & Schaie, K. (2013). Life - span developmental psychology : Personality and Socialization. US: Elsevier.
Barber, N. (2013). Barber, N. A. (2013). Investigating the potential influence of the internet as a new socialization agent in context with other traditional socialization agents. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice , 2, 179 - 194.
Grusec, J., & Hastings, P. (2014). Handbook of socialization : Theory and research. US: Guildford Publications.
Lacey, C. (2012). The Socialization of Teachers. US: Routledge.
Lawson, B., Petersen, K., Cousins, P., & Handfield, R. (2009). Knowledge sharing in interorganizational product development tams - the effect of formal and informal socialization mechanisms. Journal of Product Innovation Management , 26 (2), 156 - 172.
Lytton, H. (2013). Parent child interaction - the socialization process observed in twin and singleton families . US: Springer Science & Business Media .
Wang, X., Yu, C., & Wei, Y. (2012). Social media peer communication and impacts on purchase intentions - A Consumer Socialization Framework. Journal of Interactive Marketing , 26 (4), 198 - 208.

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