Socialization is the process of learning the norms, rules, regulations, values and attitudes of society. It is a lifelong process that starts from childhood until one’s death. Socialization is a vital learning process in which society exists. Every society socializes its members according to its own values. For example, if a baby enters American society, he or she socializes according to the characteristics of American society. In the same way, the children of Russian society are socialized according to the characteristics of Russian society. A person learns the ways of attitude, behavior, language, and culture of a society through the process of socialization.
What is human nature?
The debate about “nature” (descendants) and “nurture” (social environment) has been going on for decades. Some scientists think that nature plays an important role in socialization while others view that nurturing is just a way in which a member can be socialized. To answer this controversial question, one can give a logical reason that humans have no natural language. A baby comes into this society having only bones, flesh, and a respiratory system. If this baby was kept in isolation for several years, he would not be able to speak even a single word. Heredity provides the essentials that are essential for growing up but the social environment is much more important than heredity in which children learn language. Without the concept of language a member cannot create relationships with others. Language is a source for creating relationships and taking part in social interactions. So, upbringing or social environment is so important that it turns animals into social animals.
Cooley dan si Kaca Mata
Charles Hurton Cooley was a well-known social scientist who thought that our sense of self develops from interactions with other people. To describe this process, Cooley coined the term “visible glass self theory” in 1902.
According to Cooley, there are three elements in the theory of the looking-glass self.
1. We imagine how we look in the eyes of others. For example, we can guess that other people see us as smart or stupid.
2. We interpret other people’s reactions. We may know how others judge us. Do they like us for being smart? Do they dislike us for being stupid?
3. We develop a self-concept. After the reactions of others, we develop feelings and ideas about ourselves.
The Looking Glass Self theory is like a “social mirror” in which a person can see his own reflection. This self-development process clearly shows us the image of our personality. We can judge our personality by feedback from others. So, the process of seeing oneself plays an important role in the socialization process.
Agents of socialization are people and groups that influence our emotions, attitudes and behavior etc. Family, religion, child care, schools, peer groups and the workplace are agents of socialization that prepare us to take our place in society.
The family is an important agent of socialization where a child begins to learn the family language. Slowly and gradually a child learns the role of family members. He recognizes the roles of father, mother, sister and brother. It can be seen that most of the children follow other people’s roles such as wearing glasses and reading the newspaper as their parents do.
Religion is also an important agent of socialization through which an individual learns about right and wrong. Religion provides the basic ideas of morality that will become part of our future life. Religion teaches us how to dress, speak, and proper manners for us in formal occasions.
• Day care
Child care is another socialization agent where children are socialized and benefited by others. It is a tradition in every society to hire someone for a daily wage to take care of the children. The child care process stimulates the intellectual personality of the child.
• Schools and peer groups
Schools and peer groups are agents of socialization where a child meets a large group of people of the same age. Apart from education, the students are connected to each other for the common good. By sharing the same ideas and interests, students find a peer group for themselves and they begin to learn from that peer group. Friends, clubs, gangs, and neighbors are some examples of peer groups. Upon entering school and peer groups, a member begins to learn new norms and characteristics such as athletic ability, coolness, toughness of physical appearance and attractiveness, etc.
The workplace is another agent of socialization through which an individual enters adulthood. Apparently, the workplace is a place where an individual serves as an employer and earns a few dollars. In addition, employers have many opportunities to learn important things for the future. It is seen that co-workers always advise about future plans and lifestyle. It can be said that it is a kind of practice for future activities. Therefore, it is evident that the workplace is an agent of socialization where individuals have the opportunity to learn a lot.
Socialization is a lifelong process in which an individual learns the essence of society. Norms, customs, values, attitudes, thoughts, and customs are transmitted from one generation to another with the help of socialization. A child only carries a few things in heredity but the social environment provides the totality of life with the help of socialization. Charles Hurton Cooley presented the looking-glass self theory which contributed greatly to the socialization process. As far as socialization agents are concerned, there are five main agents such as family, religion, child care, school, peer group and workplace.