Socialization is so basic to human development that we sometimes over-look its importance. Sociologist use the term socialization to refers to the lifelong social experience by which people develop their human potential and learn culture. Social experience is also the foundation of personality, a person’s fairly consistent patterns of acting, thinking, and feeling. We build a personality by internalizing- taking in –our surrounding. Socialization is a lifelong process. It develops our humanity as well as our particular personalities. Socialization is a matter of nurture rather than nature.

According to W.F. Ogburn, Socialization is the process by which the individual learns to conform to the norms of the group”.

Peter Worsely explains socialization as the process of “ transmission of culture , the process whereby men learn the rules and practices of social groups”.

Socialization is a process of inducting the individual into the social world. It consists in teaching culture which he must acquire and share.

Features of Socialization

  • Socialization is a learning process.
  • Socialization is a continuous process.
  • It provides the knowledge, skill, and qualities.
  • Timing is the importance in the socialization.
  • It contributes to the development of human personalities.
  • It contributes to the stability of order.

Functions of Socialization

  • Socialization coverts man, the biological being into, the social being.
  • Socialization contributes to the development of personality.
  • Helps to become disciplined.
  • Helps to enact different roles.
  • Provides the knowledge of skill.
  • Help to develop right aspiration in life.
  • Contributes to the stability of the social order.
  • Helps to reduce social distance.
  • Provides scope for building the bright future.

Agents/ Agency of Socialization

  1. The Family
  2. The Schools
  3. The Peer group
  4. The Mass media

The Family:

  • The family affects socialization in many ways. For most people, in fact, the family may be the most important socialization agent of all.
  • The family is usually the first setting of socialization.
  • Family has the greatest impact on attitudes and behavior.
  • A family’s social position, including race and social class, shapes a child’s personality.
  • Ideas about gender are learned first in the family.

The Schools:

  • Schooling enlarges children’s social world to include people with backgrounds different from their own.
  • Schools teach knowledge and skills needed for later life.
  • Schools expose children to greater social diversity.
  • Schools reinforce ideas about gender.

The Peer Group:

  • By the time they enter school, children have joined a peer group, a social group whose members have interests, social position, and age in common.
  • The peer group helps shape attitudes and behavior.
  • The peer group takes on great importance during adolescence.
  • The peer group frees young people from adult supervision.

The Mass Media:

  • The mass media are the means for delivering impersonal communications to a vast audience. Mass media arise as communications technology(newspapers, radio, TV, films and internet) spreads information on a massive scale.
  • The mass media have a huge impact on socialization in modern, high-income societies.
  • The mass media often reinforce stereotypes about gender and race.
  • The mass media expose people to a great deal of violence.