Write a note on the major agencies that socialize a person.
While considering the agencies of socialization it must be kept in mind that the agents of socialization are related to individual’s age. Following are the main agencies of socialization.
The family is the most important agent of socialization. In every society this institution of family exists, in one form or the other, teaches the cultural values and knowledge. Within the family in our culture the influence of the mother upon the child’s socialization is the most important. The father engages in a more specialized teaching role, generally socializing his male offspring into the proper sex role of the society.
To a large extent family is where we acquire our specific social position in society. Studies show that families socialize their children somewhat differently based on race/ethnicity, gender, class, caste. Poor and low-income families may unintentionally socialize children to believe that education goals and future ambitions are meaningless because of existing economic conditions in the family middle and upper-income families typically instill ideas of monetary and social success in children.
The school is the second agency of socialization. In the school, the child gets his education that moulds his ideas and attitudes. A good education can make a child the best citizen, while a bad education can turn him into a deviant. School is a formal socialization agency students are taught and given specific knowledge and skills to become productive members of society.
The playmates and friends also is an important agency of socialization. Peer groups linked by common interests, equal social position and similar age are important influences. They help in personality moulding process.
In the early society, religion provided a bond of unity. Though in modern society the importance of religion has decreased, yet it continues to mould our
beliefs and ways of life. Religious belief and practices within the family develops the idea of sacredness within a child and may mould his beliefs and ideas. It also enriches ethical attitude.
Other agencies of socialization are the neighborhood, occupational groups, mass media. From the neighbors the child learns about the social values and also learns the art of adjusting with others. Psychological factors also play an important role in the process of socialization.
According to psychologists, a person acquires only those social norms that are useful to him, and this has an effect on the process of socialization. Political and cultural institutions do influence the development of the child. These are called social institutions and have an impact on the development of the personality of the child. Due to the influence of these institutions, he acquires certain social norms and ideals.