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The Five Agents of Socialization

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Christine Jauernig

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of The Five Agents of Socialization

The Five Agents of Socialization The School Culture The Peer Group Socialization and the Individual The Family The Media By: Christine Jauernig

Family does not always have a positive effect on a child. Most children are raised with patience, care, and love from their families, yet sadly abuse and neglect are common contributing factors mostly seen from parents who are unprepared for parenthood or unwilling to take on the task. As said above, parents and siblings act as role models for younger children. Children who grow up in homes of violence are more likely to be violent as parents when they grow up. It is important for families to not support male domination within the family as this can have a major factor on the child once he or she grows up. Male domination endorses power of one partner over the other which can end in spousal or relationship abuse. Characteristics:

The Family is known to be the primary agent of socialization, as it is the first and most significant. Family relationships are very important to a child’s development. Children learn all basic values from their family as to what is right or wrong and skills such as walking, talking, playing, and feeding themselves. Most importantly family is there to support and encourage the infant to strive to reach their fullest potential. Family members are role models for how the child may act in the future. Characteristics:

Already by the age of two and three children are exposed to many different personalities, behaviours, and attitudes from their peers. Peer groups make children aware of how they appear to other people. As children grow up and enter adolescence the importance of their peer group expands tremendously. Anthropologists have come to the conclusion that rapid pased societies influence teens to rely more on their peers, where as in slower paced societies teens focus on accepting wisdom from older generations. Peers continue to influence you throughout your whole life. Problems:

Cliques are formed with people who are interested in the same activities and share similar values and ideas. They are groups of close friends who spend lots of time together, although they do change over time. The problem with cliques is that sometimes they can encourage antisocial behaviour were peer pressure is involved and gangs form. People usually join gangs with others that have had similar experiences and many gangs become violent. Problems:

School is a great opportunity for everyone although many feel that the education system does not provide an equal opportunity for all students. Factors thought to prevent students from doing well in school are: social class, ethnic origin, and gender. High tuition fees can hold back poorer students from going to higher education compared to wealthier families. The education gap between men and women is finally closing as it is becoming more accepted for women to participate in university and college classes. Lastly dropping out is another issue manly seen by students that had a lower grade average, coming from a single parent home, parents with lower education, failed in elementary school, work many hours a week, and use drugs and alcohol. Problems:

Problems with gender socialization is that it is started even before one can walk or talk. As soon as a child is born a girl would be most likely dressed in pinks and purples and boys will be dressed in blue. Children are forced into roles which they do not necessarily agree with. Characteristics:

In our society, media has a powerful influence on shaping young people’s opinions. We are constantly being bombarded with images on television, in newspapers, magazines, and on the internet as well as hearing things through music and on the radio. Some people believe that what they see is absolute or unquestionable and therefore the media impacts people’s thoughts and behaviour. Characteristics:

People grow up in very different environments creating individual socialization, which on a greater scale can be compared from one culture to another. A study done comparing Japanese families and American families concluded that when a child is not told what to do but asked if what they did was right or wrong enhances their self-respect instead of ordering a child around which weakens their self-respect. In the above paragraph I slightly touched on gender roles in school although it can also greatly be connected to culture. Sex is determined at conception which is the biological make up of a child, either male or female. Gender is how someone personally identifies themselves which is learned starting at birth and then throughout ones whole life. In cultures, girls and boys can be forced into different directions due to their gender role. Characteristics:

At age four or five, the school enters a child’s life and continues to remain an important influence for the next 12 to 20 years. School prepares students for careers and how to function as adults in society; but more importantly it teaches them respect for authority, organization, reliability, promptness, and co-operation. School also allows students to interact and socialize with their peers. Problems:

Media has many advantages as well as disadvantages. The major disadvantages include stereotypes, promoting violence, and the `global village’ concept. The main goal of media is to attract as many viewers as possible. Therefore, they will show things that people are interested in rather than what is right and this is how stereotypes are spread. It is proven that people who watch violent programs compared to people who do not tend to be more aggressive, have less self-discipline, and patience. The global village concept is the idea that “we are tried together though mass media, popular culture and improved telecommunications.” (Sproule, 366) The negative impact is that local cultures fear they are being flooded by the impacts of the mass media. Media, more so technology as a whole, has created more stress and anxiety because of the need for things to be done better and faster. Most Influential in Individual Development I think that the most important characteristic of socialization is the school group which is very closely linked to the peer group. Although I am biased, as I am currently in the main part of these stages, I truly do think the school/peer group has a tremendous impact on one’s individual growth and life. At school you form your peer group, clique, or gang which can either steer you in the right direction of a bright, happy future or put you down the wrong path of violence, breaking rules and laws and more. At this stage in one’s life they are experiencing many new things that they will remember for the rest of their life. This is time people are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do when they grow up. Depending on one’s peer group, they can be pulled in many different directions (some good and some bad). You are just starting to make decisions for yourself without the guidance of your parents; therefore many look to their friends for support. Many people will make mistakes at this stage in their life, but the best thing to do is learn from them and help other people in your peer group strive for what they want to achieve. For example, the decision to drop out of school or continue to study and try your hardest can be greatly influenced by people in your peer group. As you continue to grow up your schooling and peer group will change and continue to influence you.
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