Agents of Socialization Essay


     Socialization sounds huge but we have already talked about this matter discussing other issues in our previous blogposts. Socialization can be seen through different human`s activities. It is a process of acquirement of cultural values, social norms, attitudes, models of behavior, necessary for successful functioning in a society by an individual. A human being turns from a biological creature into social one, namely socialization and environmentalism. Socialization is not a short-time process lasting during a lifetime including a few stages: childhood, adolescence, maturity and senescence. Socialization is the most extensive in the childhood and adolescence.

     There are primary and secondary socialization. The primary one covers the period from birth to mature personality formation. The secondary one is the process of socially mature personality development connected with learning of trade specifically. Certain personalities, groups and also social institutions by help of whom socialization takes place are called agents of socialization.

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     Among the agents of primary socialization, immediate environment is family, parents, friends, age mates, teachers, tutors, etc. Everyone who has an immediate effect on an individual.

     Secondary agents of socializations are people tied up with business relations, office managers, chief executive officers, authorized agents of a state and its organs.

     There are two phases an individual goes through in the process of socialization: social adaptation and internalization.Besides that, every time entering a new environment, an individual has to leave off a habit of something and to get accustomed to something else. Which is why the process of socialization includes two phases: desocialization and resocialization.

     American sociologist Irwin Hoffman (1922-1982) described the following characteristics of resocialization under extreme conditions:

  • Isolation of the outer world.
  • Constant communication with the same people.
  • Lose of the former identification, which goes through the ritual of chase.
  • Withdrawal from old habits, values, traditions and getting used to the new ones.

     Socialization as a process of self-definition lasts basically for the whole lifetime of an individual. Childhood is considered to be the period of the most extensive socialization. Adults have to constantly adopt to quickly changing social conditions just as well (change of social status, place of residence, place of work, circle of contacts, etc), to get used to new social roles (getting married, birth of children, new position at work, etc).

     Agents of socialization being in the direct relations with a human being play a great part in whom a person will become. Sociological literature also defines the term socialization as channels providing with socialization of a person. Agents of socialization are different by their roles in accordance with how important they are in life of a person, how an interaction with the person is built, in what direction and by what means they influence the person. At that, socialization has a two directional character for individuals of different ages. Not only the older generation hands norms and values down from generation to generation but also the youth easily adopting to the changed social conditions, teach grandmother.

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