Meaning of Socialisation

Meaning of Socialisation


Socialization is the time of action by which children and adults learn from others. We begin learning from others during the early days of life; and most people continue their social learning all by life (unless some mental or physical disability slows or stops the learning course of action).

Put in other words, socialization is a course of action with the help of which a living organism is changed into a social being. It is a course of action by which the younger generation learns the adult role which it has to play afterward. It is a continuous course of action in the life of an individual and it continues from generation to generation.


Every society is faced with the necessity of making a responsible member out of each child born into it. The child must learn the expectations of the society so that his behavior can be relied upon. He must acquire the group norms. The society must socialize each member so that his behavior will be meaningful in terms of the group norms. In the time of action of socialization the individual learns the reciprocal responses of the society.

Features of Socialization:

1. Inculcates basic discipline:

Socialization inculcates basic discipline. A person learns to control his impulses. He may show a disciplined behaviour to gain social approval.

2. Helps to control human behaviour:

It helps to control human behaviour. An individual from birth to death undergoes training and his, behaviour is controlled by numerous ways. In order to continue the social order, there are definite procedures or mechanism in society. These procedures become part of the man’s/life and man gets modificated to the society. by socialization, society intends to control the behaviour of its-members unconsciously.

3. Socialization is rapid if there is more humanity among the- agencies of socialization:

Socialization takes place rapidly if the agencies’ of socialization are more unanimous in their ideas and skills. When there is conflict between the ideas, examples and skills transmitted in home and those transmitted by school or peer, socialization of the individual tends to be slower and ineffective.

4. Socialization takes place formally and informally:

Formal socialization takes by direct instruction and education in schools and colleges. Family is, however, the dominant and the most influential source of education. Children learn their language, customs, norms and values in the family.

5. Socialization is continuous course of action:

Socialization is a life-long course of action. It does not cease when a child becomes an adult. As socialization does not cease when a child becomes an adult, internalization of culture continues from generation to generation. Society perpetuates itself by the internalization of culture. Its members transmit culture to the next generation and society continues to exist.

Types of Socialization:

Although socialization occurs during childhood and adolescence, it also continues in middle and adult age. Orville F. Brim (Jr.) described socialization as a life-long course of action. He maintains that socialization of adults differ from childhood socialization. In this context it can be said that there are various types of socialization.

1. dominant Socialization:

dominant socialization refers to socialization of the infant in the dominant or earliest years of his life. It is a course of action by which the infant learns language and cognitive skills, internalizes norms and values. The infant learns the ways of a given grouping and is molded into an effective social participant of that group.

The norms of society become part of the personality of the individual. The child does not have a sense of wrong and right. By direct and indirect observation and experience, he little by little learns the norms relating to wrong and right things. The dominant socialization takes place in the family.

2. Secondary Socialization:

the time of action can be seen at work outside the immediate family, in the ‘peer group’. The growing child learns very important lessons in social conduct from his peers. He also learns lessons in the school. Hence, socialization continues beyond and outside the family ecosystem. Secondary socialization generally refers to the social training received by the child in institutional or formal settings and continues throughout the rest of his life.

3. Adult Socialization:

In the adult socialization, actors go into roles (for example, becoming an employee, a husband or wife) for which dominant and secondary socialization may not have prepared them fully. Adult socialization teaches people to take on new duties. The aim of adult socialization is to bring change in the views of the individual. Adult socialization is more likely to change overt behaviour, while child socialization moulds basic values.

4. Anticipatory Socialization:

Anticipatory socialization refers to a course of action by which men learn the culture of a group with the anticipation of joining that group. As a person learns the proper beliefs, values and norms of a position or group to which he aspires, he is learning how to act in his new role.

5. Re-socialization:

Re-Socialization refers to the time of action of discarding former behaviour patterns and accepting new ones as part of a change in one’s life. Such re-socialization takes place mostly when a social role is radically changed. It involves abandonment of one way of life for another which is not only different from the former but incompatible with it. For example, when a criminal is rehabilitated, he has to change his role radically.

Importance of Socialization:

Socialization is an important part of the time of action 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 by the time of action 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. In the socialization course of action the individual learns the culture in addition as skills, ranging from language to manual dexterity which will permit him to become a participating member of human society.

Socialization inculcates basic disciplines, ranging from toilet habits to method of science. In his early years, individual is also socialized with regard to sexual behaviour. Society is also concerned with imparting the basic goals, aspirations and values to which the child is expected to direct his behaviour for the rest of his life. He learns-the levels to which he is expected to aspire.

In this way man becomes a person by the social influences which he shares with others and by his own ability to respond and weave his responses into a unified body of habits, attitudes and traits.

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