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Definition of Socialization

According to Horton and Hunt, “Socialization is the process whereby one internalizes the norms of his groups, so that a distinct self emerges, unique to this individual.”

Peter Worsley explains socialization “as the process of transmission of culture, the process whereby men learn the rules and practices of social groups.”

M. Johnson defines socialization as “learning that enables the learner to perform social roles”. He further says that it is a “process by which individuals acquire the already existing culture of groups they come into.”

Meaning of Socialization

Socialization takes place at different stages such as primary, secondary and adult. The primary stage involves the socialization of the young child in in the family. The secondary stage involves the school and the third stage is adult socialization.

Thus, socialization is a process of cultural learning whereby a new person acquires necessary skills and education to play a regular part in a social system. The process is essentially the same in all societies, though institutional arrangements vary. The process continues throughout life as each new situation arises. Socialization is the process of fitting individuals into particular forms of group life, transforming human organism into social being and transmitting established cultural tradition.

Features of Socialization

Socialization not only helps in the maintenance and preservation of social values and norms but it is the process through which values and norms are transmitted from one generation to another generation. Features of socialization can be described as follows:

  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 maintain the social order, there are definite procedures or mechanism in society. These procedures become part of the man’s life and man gets adjusted to the society. Through 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 through direct instruction and education in schools and colleges. Family is however, the primary and the most influential source of education. Children learn their language, customs, norms and values in the family.
  5. Socialization is continuous process- Socialization is a life-long process. 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 through the internalization of culture. Its members transmit culture to the next generation and society continues to exist.

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