In definition, socialization is the process of disseminating and inheriting ideologies, norms and customs, equipping a person with necessary habits and skills for society participation. In other words, socialization is means through which cultural and social continuity are realized. In sociological theory, socialization assumes a vital role as it forms the underlying process of social interaction which in turn shapes the essential behavior for effective society participation. Social interaction gives the pathway for perpetuation and culture renewal of society. Particularly in children, the process of socialization is dictated by two stages: primary socialization and secondary socialization which are considered fundamental for sustainment of all the other essential later forms of socialization. These two stages ensure proper adaptation to society values throughout the lifecycle of a person. Based on this concept of socialization, the processes represent socialization in children as an interactive process through which they interpret social relationships within their cultural and social context.
Primary and secondary socialization are the two basic forms of childhood socialization which justify the children’s characters, inherited norms and customs. Primary socialization is defined as the learning and acceptance of a set of society values and norms which are dictated through the process of socialization. In childhood, this process of socialization is significant as it sets the frame work and foundation for al later socialization stages. Primary socialization is characterized by the children learning the actions, values and attitudes which are deemed appropriate to a person to be a member of a particular society. Parents, caregivers and immediate friends are the main society units which influence primary socialization. This face of socialization gives an individual the basic step to align with society values and prepare the person to develop and create roles in a social context.
The primary socialization process acts as the transformation of children into responsible and social human beings. This is especially done through teaching basic values as well as through language and training from their immediate family members. Social systems and social rules are incorporated with the child’s social experiences in order to evoke social and physical responses which are persistent with the context of culture. In this regards, the study of socialization identifies the different functions of institutions such as family, school and media in instilling cultural and social values.
These agents of socialization promote childhood development in a cognitive and social manner which shapes the psychological behaviors and attitudes during childhood. For instance, a child knows which gender they are and what they are expected to behave dependent on their gender from primary agents of socialization. By the time secondary socialization start influencing the child’s behavior and attitudes, the children have already an idea of which gender they are and what the society expects them to behave in reference to their gender roles. In this regards, secondary agents are responsible for reinforcing what children learn from their primary agents of socialization.
Secondary socialization is a process characterized by the learning of what appropriate behavior entails in regards of being a member of a small unit of the society. This type of socialization, through secondary agents of the society such as school, reinforces and justifies the behavioral patterns learnt from primary socialization during early stages of childhood. Through this process, children and adults learn responsive behaviors which are deemed appropriate by the society in which they are. Depending on the society in which the individuals are, secondary socialization can result to desirable outcomes as the individuals learns what the society perceives as “normal” and hence, the individuals course of action is influenced by the society consensus. On the contrary, in some cases, some individuals do not undergo the experience of these processes of socialization such as feral children or in other cases, a person learns inappropriate behavioral patterns within a society. In this case scenarios, the specified individual is subjected to resocialization process in which the individual in subject is taught new values, norms and practices in order to adjust and align with the society in a social context.
Resocialization process exposes a person to new attitudes and skills which are deemed essential and adequate in a particular society and as dictated by norms and values of the people within it. The society performs an essential role in psychological development of individuals and hence the isolation and lack of social interaction generally results to issues which have been proven to be irreversible. In regards to feral children experience, these children are isolated and lack total human contact and hence lacking the ability to fit in modern society in terms of behavior, language and what the society perceives as “normal.” For instance, in a case scenario of “Victor of Aveyron” in which the boy lived in the woods for nine years without social interaction or human contact of any form. The boy was subjected to resocialization process through which he was able to learn and adapt some essential norms of a civil life. However, the boy did not fully learn the language due to the lack of primary socialization in childhood.
In this essence, the case scenario, the experience of feral children indicate that social deprivation and prevention from normal social interactions influences the mental health and child development process. The process of resocialization is instrumental in correcting the social discrepancies in feral children although the children does not fully learn society norms as compared to other normal children.
In conclusion, all the socialization processes prepares individuals towards the achievement of an appropriate social life by equipping them with shared behaviors, values, beliefs, norms and attitudes necessary for a normal social context. Primary socialization is essential for childhood development as children learn social practices from their immediate caregivers and parents. Secondary socialization reinforces the behavioral patterns acquired from primary socialization and through which the individuals learn appropriate social behaviors as demanded by the society. Lastly, the resocialization process in feral children is instrumental in teaching the affected children new social ways of living even though the chidren does not learn all the parts of civil life due to mental and childhood development impairment which is largely irreversible.
Task 2: Influence of gender and class on woman’s identity
Women experiences are perceived to be guided and shaped by gender and social class identification. Gender-Class differences inflicted by the society are evident in women behaviors and beliefs which are key factors in defining women identity. Different attitudes and behaviors are expected from both girls and boys by the British society. Gender socialization is termed as the impacting knowledge on different behaviors on the basis of gender which is instrumental in shaping ones’ identity in reference to their gender. Girls are brought up in conformity to the female role while boys are raised in conformity to the gender male role. Historically, the concept of gender and class has been used to define the woman’s identity in the British society.
Gender role refers to the personal traits, character, attitude, and behavior which are encouraged and expected of the individual on the basis of sex (Benokraitis, 2017). A young British woman identity is influenced by social institutions which define the gender role and class identity in reference to the processes of socialization. According to social sciences, institutions refer to mechanisms and structures of social comparison and order aimed at regulating peoples’ behavior which aid in shaping ones’ identity at the society. These institutions are defined by the role of social permanents and purpose transcending society lives while setting and enforcing a set of rules which govern the human corporation, behavior and identity. The gender and class socialization institutions are family, school and the media.
Primary socializing agents such as parents and caregivers forms the starting point towards the shaping of woman’s identity. Family is viewed as the main source of influence of socialization. In other words, the family is the initial agent of socialization. A child acquires the initial behaviors and identity through the family which in turn, define the overall moral conduct and ones’ identity in the future. The family institution is significant since it sires the first civilized behaviors. In this essence, the feminine class and gender roles begin in the family. Additionally, families play a vital in influencing one’s identity, emotional health, and personality. It is evident that parents socialize differently with both daughters and sons, for example, boys are allowed to be independent and free at an early stage than girls, they are less counseled on appropriate dating habits and clothing. They are also free from carrying out domestic duties and other household chores which are termed as feminine. On the other hand, girls’ freedom and independence are limited as they are expected to be generally obedient, passive and nurturing and as well assume almost all household tasks.
The secondary process of socialization also plays a vital role in establishing the identity of a woman in British society. Secondary socializing agents such as the school nurtures the identity already acquired from the family. In schools, identity is acquired through the official, social or the hidden curriculum. The official and social curriculum includes the identity gained by the students from their female teachers which also influence the shaping of their identity status in the society. The school teaches the children on their roles within the society in regards to their gender. Subsequently, social class generates expectations and meanings in objective material. In the British society, Upper class women and lower-class women social status provides class-based pressure which dictates how women relate, and their occupation in the society. This class based differences define the identity of a women and their role in the society.
Through secondary socialization, women are in the British society are able to determine their identity in reference to their cultural gender roles and social class status. The media institutions such as television, movies, and radios among others educate the women ways of establishing and shaping their identity based on examples from fellow women within their social class status. Socialization occurring through radio shows and television programs which are usually commercialized are effective in guiding women on how to develop and shape their identity in the society.
In conclusion, inheritance of ideologies and social norms is significant in defining women identity and, therefore, primary and secondary socialization plays a vital role in the process of acquiring and inheriting these desired norms and characters aimed at describing ones identity in the society. The socialization process and institutions which outlines the gender and class influences and roles can lead individuals to shape identity. In these assertions, the gender role and social class of women is essential in guiding and shaping their identity.