Socialization is a process of social interaction and communication in which an individual comes to learn and internalize the culture of their society or group. The general process of acquiring culture is referred to as socialization. Acquiring alien culture is acculturation. Successful socialization can result in uniformity within a society. If all children receive the same socialization, it is likely that they will share the same beliefs and expectations. Socialization begins immediately at birth, with the conditioning influences of infant handling, and continues throughout an individual's lifetime. Even seemingly insignificant actions of parents can have major impacts on the socialization of their children. Most of the crucial early socialization throughout the world is done informally under the supervision of women and girls. Initially, mothers and their female relatives are primarily responsible for socialization. Personality and Socialization elucidates on how socialization helps in the process of personality formation.
Society provides us justifications for our systems of socialization, social control and stratification. Sociologists use the term sociological imagination to describe the ability to see the impact of these processes on our private lives. Many important changes happen because of social movements, which consist of many people organized to promote social change. We participate in socializing others, carrying out social control and reproducing the stratification system. Sociologists use the term the social construction of reality to describe how people build the social world. Sociologists recognize the limitless variety of individual experiences of socialization, but have given much attention to general patterns of socialization found in individual societies and groups within them. The sociological use of the term socialization refers to the learning and absorption of culture and not simply to the process of interacting with others. Socialization is also sometimes used to refer to the collective ownership and management of economic resources.
During socialization, we learn the language of the culture we are born into as well as the roles we are to play in life. For instance, girls learn how to be daughters, sisters, friends, wives, and mothers. In addition, they learn about the occupational roles that their society has in store for them.
We also learn and usually adopt our culture's norms through the socialization process. Norms are the conceptions of appropriate and expected behavior that are held by most members of the society. While socialization refers to the general process of acquiring culture, anthropologists use the term enculturation for the process of being socialized to a particular culture.
Handbook of Socialization: Theory and Research by Joan E. Grusec and Paul D. Hastings.
Family: Socialization and Interaction Process - Robert F. Bales.
A Complementary Perspective to Primary
David N. Nurco, D.S.W., Monroe Lerner, Ph.D., L.H.D. (Hon.) Abstract: Primary socialization theory as formulated by Oetting and his associates emphasizes the transmission of societal norms during childhood and adolescence within society's three major socializing agencies: family, school, and small, intimate peer groups. Personality traits and other personal characteristics influence negative outcomes, such as deviant behavior or drug abuse, only to the extent that they interfere with socialization to family or school. Our own research does not address primary socialization theory directly in that we have not focused on the transmission of norms per se as central. Our research has supported the hypotheses of primary socialization theory, ever extending them in specific areas, such as the importance of family influences as etiological factors. Primary socialization theory leaves some gaps requiring further elucidation.