Human infants are born without any culture yet. When a baby is born, socialization takes place in order for him to have a culture based on what his parents and his environment would teach him. So what exactly is socialization?
Socialization is the process of knowing another person`s culture and learning how to live within it. When we talk about culture, we are referring to the totality of moral norms, values, language, attitudes and other aspects comprising a society. All of us have roles to accomplish within our society, and socialization helps us to harbor knowledge and skills to satisfy these societal roles.
A. Importance of Socialization
Socialization is an important part of the process of personality formation in every individual. It is true that genetics is the reason behind the structure of human personality, but socialization is the one that causes this personality to be molded to specific directions through the process of accepting or rejecting beliefs, attitudes and societal norms. Because of the dynamics in socialization, we tend to have different personalities although we are living in the same society. For example, the Yanomamo Indians living on the border area between Brazil and Venezuela tend to train the younger generation of boys to become aggressive and strong. On the other hand, the Semai tribe living on the central Malay Peninsula in Malaysia does not like violence and hostility. This is why the younger generation of boys is trained to become gentle and peace-loving.
Generally, there are five types of socialization: primary, secondary, developmental, anticipatory and resocialization.
Primary socialization This type of socialization happens when a child learns the values, norms and behaviors that should be displayed in order to live accordingly to a specific culture.
Example: A child hears his father talk bad words against an old lady. The child would think that this behavior is socially acceptable, so he would start talking bad words against older people.
Secondary socialization This type of socialization occurs when a person learns an appropriate behavior to be displayed within a smaller group which is still part of a larger society. The changes within the values, attitudes and beliefs of an individual are seen to be less important than the changes made in him as he participates in the larger society.
Example: A high school graduate chooses a career in Business Management after participating in a small group career seminar led by college business majors.
Developmental socialization This type of socialization involves a learning process wherein the focus in on developing our social skills.
Example: A shy senior high school student starts to teach English to new freshmen students in order to develop verbal communication.
Anticipatory socialization This type of socialization refers to the process wherein a person practices or rehearses for future social relationships.
Example: A child anticipates parenthood as he observes his parents perform their daily roles.
Resocialization This type of socialization involves rejecting previous behavior patterns and accepting new ones so the individual can shift from one part of his life to another. Resocialization is said to be happening throughout human life cycle.
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