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The process of socialization is no longer a simple division of responsibility between the family and schools

NCUK NO: BSA-18-0017


According to Giddens (XXXX), socialization is the process whereby the helpless infant gradually becomes a self-aware, knowledgeable person, skilled in the ways of the culture in which he or she is born. Socialization is a lifelong process. It is worthy of note that the individual is not a passive subject of socialization but is actively involved in the socialization process. Through the process of socialization, the hidden hand of social forces beyond our control guides our lives (Perrino, 2000).
However, primary socialization takes place in the early stages of the individual’s life and is mostly influenced by the family. Secondary socialization occurs later in childhood and into maturity whereby an individual learns the society’s norms, customs and values.
The family is usually the main agency of socialization throughout childhood and arguably beyond (Blundell, 2014). On the other hand, the school is another institution that is responsible for the socialization of an individual. The school performs both manifest and latent functions.
Although these two institutions are paramount in socialization, the socialization process is not a division of responsibility between these two institutions.
This essay examines:
• The role of family in socialization
• The role of the school in socialization
• The limitations of the family & school as agencies of socialization
• The role of other agencies in the socialization process

Agents of socialization are institutions that influence in changing the individual and imbibing certain norms and values. It is also known as agencies of social control. Agents of socialization are the family, the school, peer groups, mass media and religion
The agents of socialization can be broadly divided into primary groups and secondary groups.
Primary groups are those small groups in which all the members have enduring, intimate face-to-face interaction and cooperation (Stolley, 2005). This group consists primarily of the family. It also includes close friends, play groups of children etc.
Primary groups are responsible for primary socialization. Primary groups are very important because they provide significant socialization and social bonds
Secondary groups are larger groups in which all members do not interact directly and have relationships that are not permanent. (Stolley, 2005). Unlike in primary groups, members do not share intimate relationships. They are responsible for secondary socialization. It includes schools, religion, mass media, work place, etc. VARRY YOUR SOURCES ESPECIALLY STOLLEY
The family is the first and most important location for socialization (Stolley, 2011). The family is often regarded as the primary agent of socialization. The family is responsible for primary socialization which is the acquiring of norms, culture and values of the society by an individual in early childhood. The family imbibes values into an individual during the early part of the individual’s life. The family serves as a connection between a person and the broader society.
Also, the family in which a person is born gives us social traits such as religious background, race and ethnicity, social skills and social class. The family is the first instructor of language, values and norms, social skills, culture and behaviour.
At the early stages of life, the child learns from the family through imitation of its members. This is because of the child’s high susceptibility due to the powerful ties between the parents and children.
More so, the family socialises the child according to their social class. Lower class parents stress the need for conformity or submission in their children. On the other hand, middle-class parents are more likely to emphasize innovation and self sufficiency. For example, poor families usually emphasize obedience and conformity when raising their children, while wealthy families emphasize judgment and creativity (National Opinion Research Centre 2008).
The diversity of family systems leads to heterogeneous experiences across cultures. For instance, a child who grew up with a Punjabi Hindu family will be differently socialised than a child who grew up with a Bengali Christian family.
The family also plays an important role in gender socialization. Members of the family usually talk to children based on gender. Verbal appellations such as ‘naughty boy’ or ‘good girl’ gear the children into a particular gender. Children are socialised into gender by praising behaviours peculiar to the gender and discouraging behaviours that do not fit the gender norms. Usually, boys are socialised into material roles and girls are socialised into instrumental roles (XXXX).
Also, the family possesses the power of social control. Social control, within sociology, refers to the many ways in which our behaviour, thoughts, and appearance are regulated by the norms, rules, laws, and social structures of society (Crossman, A., 2018).
Social control ensures social conformity. This is done mostly informally. They control the behaviour by using positive and negative sanctions. Positive sanctions such as physical incentives encourage the child to continue the behaviour. Negative sanctions such as disapproving verbal reinforcements discourage the child from the behaviour.

Education is a process in which there is diffusion of accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to another by society. Durkheim (1898) characterized schools as “socialization agencies that teach children how to get along with others and prepare them for adult economic roles.” The school is regarded to be after the family in terms of significance as far as socialization is concerned.
In England, children spend 635 hours per year in primary education, and 714 hours per year in lower and upper secondary education (OECD, 2009). The amount of time spent in school makes it hard to refute the importance of school in the socialization process.
The school is usually the first institution a child enters after primary socialisation by the family. In schools, the child is exposed to a diversity of various experiences. They interact with people from different religious backgrounds, races, social classes, ethnicities and value systems, usually for the first time. These interactions with the various members of the school are distinct from interactions they have had with their families.
The school plays an important role in socialization. The school has both manifest and latent functions. Manifest functions are the intentional consequences of an action while latent functions are the hidden or sometimes unintended consequences of the same action (Livesey, 2014).
According to Swift (1969) there are at least four manifest functions of education in society.
(i) Inculcation of values and standards of the society.
(ii) Maintenance of social solidarity by developing in children a sense of belonging to the society together with a commitment to its way of life, as they understand it.
(iii) Transmission of knowledge, which comprises the social heritage.
(iv) Development new knowledge.
However, the latent function of the school is found in its hidden curriculum. According to Crossman (2018), hidden curriculum is a concept that describes the often unarticulated and unacknowledged things students are taught in school and that may affect their learning experience. The hidden curriculum promotes submission to the values, beliefs and norms held by the society at large.
The diversity of families has an adverse effect on the socialisation process. Family diversity has arguably been on the increase over the years. Family diversity is seen through the various forms of family such as same-sex family, blended family, lone parent family, cohabitation etc.

Socialization likewise happens among peer groups. Peer groups comprises of companions and friends who are about a similar age, social class and share similar interests. Peer groups enable youngsters to take part in exercises outside of parental control and other grown-up supervision. Peers turn out to be particularly vital in pre-adulthood. They impact perspectives of self. However, individuals are subject to ostracism and peer pressure.
Similarly, the mass media is likewise critical in the socialization procedure. These media are unavoidable all through society. They consist of newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV. We are presented to an assortment of practices, thoughts, convictions, furthermore, values through the media. We additionally acquire a large number of our perspectives about society also, how things are or ought to be through mass media. However, the mass media offers an impersonal relationship.
Finally, religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions, and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. Agents of socialization differ in effects across religious traditions. Some believe religion is like an ethnic or cultural category, making it less likely for the individuals to break from religious affiliations and be more socialized in this setting. Parental religious participation is the most influential part of religious socialization–more so than religious peers or religious beliefs. For example, children raised in religious homes are more likely to have some degree of religiosity in their lives. They are also likely to raise their own children with religion and to participate in religious ceremonies, such as baptisms and weddings.

Chapter 5. Socialization

Chapter 16. Education
Les B. Whitbeck (1999) Primary Socialization Theory: It All Begins with the Family, Substance Use & Misuse,34:7, 1025-1032, DOI: 10.3109/10826089909039394