The term socialization is used by sociologists, social psychologists and educationalists to refer to the process of learning one’s culture and how to live within it. For the individual it provides the skills and habits necessary for acting and participating within their society. For the society, inducting all individual members into its moral norms, attitudes, values, motives, social roles, language and symbols is the ‘means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’
Agents of socialization are the people and groups that influence our self-concept, emotions, attitudes, and behavior.
- The Family. Family is responsible for, among other things, determining one's attitudes toward religion and establishing career goals.
- Education. Education is the agency responsible for socializing groups of young people in particular skills and values in society.
- Peer groups. Peers refer to people who are roughly the same age and/or who share other social characteristics (e.g., students in a college class).
- The Mass Media.
- Other Agents: Religion, Work Place, The State
A complex process by which individuals learn skills, attitudes, values, and patterns of behaviour that enable them to function within a particular culture. These patterns are learned from agencies such as school and home. Socialization enables members of a society to interact with one another and so pass on skills, values, beliefs, knowledge, and modes of behaviour pertaining to that society. Sport is generally regarded as playing a significant role in socialization.
Learning the customs, attitudes, and values of a social group, community, or culture. Socialization is essential for the development of individuals who can participate and function within their societies, as well as for ensuring that a society's cultural features will be carried on through new generations. Socialization is most strongly enforced by family, school, and peer groups and continues throughout an individual's lifetime.
Later scholars accused these theorists of socialization of not recognizing the importance of the mass media which, by the middle of the twentieth century were becoming more significant as a social force. There was concern about the link between television and the education and socialization of children – it continues today – but when it came to adults, the mass media were regarded merely as sources of information and entertainment rather than moulders of personality. According to these scholars, they were wrong to overlook the importance of mass media in continuing to transmit the culture to adult members of society.
In the middle of the twentieth century the pace of cultural change was accelerating, yet Parsons and others wrote of culture as something stable into which children needed to be introduced but which adults could simply live within. As members of society we need to continually refresh our ‘repertoire of habits, beliefs, and values, the appropriate patterns of emotional response and the modes of perception, the requisite skills and knowledge’