Topic: socialization and agents of socialization.
Socialization is when an individual knows the way of life in the society, through being a member and an individual in the society by internalizing the societal norms and cultures. Agents of socialization are the outside factors that help us learn about the society and how it functions (Mayer, 2004). Through socialization a human being is taught the various ways to survive in the society and how to satisfy what it demands.
Through communication since the early ages of life, interaction and socialization, man has been able to live and develop in the society; has learnt to understand what is expected and learnt to be responsible and take up roles in the society. In school people of different social backgrounds converge together; where one comes from, in terms of, status, race or religion is a source of inequality. Through schooling children are able to learn and know more about other people in the society and they get to learn how to live and interact with peers who come from different social backgrounds. Teaching of them of the diverse people in the world and involving in activities together incorporates peace, democracy, integrity and love in the society. As a result various changes and trends have been witnessed such as, reduction in racism and discrimination of people in the society, people of different religions and races are able to work together and take care of each other (Roseberg, 1983).
In peer group set up, people of same interest, age and social position are involved. Unlike in the school set up, peer groups have members with common attributes. Children of the same peer learn how to form relationships and through the understanding they have they are able to live and interact with each other. As they grow up together the influence each other’s thoughts and ideas and way of life; however certain barriers such as religion, life perceptions and custom differences may hinder full influence. Rapidly there is change in the society, due to peer groups and generation gap between the old and the young. Interaction helps different people with different backgrounds to accept and at times absorb cultures of other people, examples may include, eating or wearing what another group does.
For an individual to be part of any organization, group or society he/ she has to go through various phases before accepting and being part of that group. First one investigates and searches for information about the group; socialization and interaction, where one associiates and familiarizes with the culture and norms; maintenance is the third stage where the individual identifies his/ her role in the society and how to live in it; finally there is re-socialization is stage where one gets to socialize with the members of the group and make clarifications on certain aspects that were unclear in the beginning.
Despite the barriers to social equality people still interact in order to learn and acquire new skills for purposes of survival. Peace and love is promoted through propelling understanding and respect for one another.
In socialization there are three aspects that try to explain certain ways of life. Symbolic interactionism includes the way people interpret various symbols such as words, how one interprets something dictates their reaction towards it. Functionalism as another aspect shows that the society’s cohesion and working together, each stakeholder interdependent of the other; as a whole lead to achieving societal goals. Conflict tries to explain that various changes in the society lead to negative impacts in the society.
Socialization is part of human beings’ way of getting to know how to live and survive in the society, through acquiring knowledge and skills. Despite inequality that is usually a barrier, people still should interact and get to learn and understand each other for a better society.
Mayer, P. (2004). Socialization: the approach from social anthropology. London: Routledge.
Rosenberg, M. M. (1983). An Introduction to sociology. Toronto: Methuen.