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09/04/2019

What is socialization?

QUESTION
What is socialization?
I have to write a essay about how child abuse affects socialization…but i am having trouble understanding what socialization is.

ANSWER
Socialisation is the process of learning ….

1. … to be a ‘self”, this occurs at the same time that we learn that there is a ‘social world’ outside of our ‘selves’

2.socialisation occurs so early in our lives that we often believe that what we learn about our social world, how to be a ‘self’ in this culture, and the cultural norms and values of our society, are ‘natural’ rather than learnt. This sense of the naturalness of our cultural norms and values is often so pervasive even amongst adults it becomes embedded in our day to day lives eg ‘of course girls don’t want to become electricians’

3. These early, elementary and key aspects of our socialisation were so ‘taken for granted’ it was the work of the Symbolic Interractionists (see the work of Cooley and GH Mead and Jane Addams who introduced the concepts of ‘looking glass self’, ‘significant others’ ‘generalised others’ ‘the play stage and the game stage’ the ‘self and society are twin born’) who showed how important social learning is to our conceptions of ‘self and society’

4. The work of later Symbolic Interactionists , Goffman, Becker, Lemert
introduced further theories/concepts of socialisation:
labelling theory, role theory.’frontstage and back stage performances’, ‘stigma’ , ‘impression management’,
‘primary and secondary deviance’ ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ which show how power relations in education, the criminal justice system and society in general , socialise people into different social roles and social positions in society.
Goffman also showed how ‘total institutions’ can destroy a persons sense of self. These sometimes are the institutions in which children are reared and are thus exposed to this extreme form of child abuse – the loss of a sense of self

5. When children are socially abandoned but given just enough physical resources to survive, (this is one of the most abusive forms of child neglect), then they may grow up to be the so-called feral children, who have not received sufficient socialisation to be recognisably human.

6. Because even when we are adults we believe our cultural norms and values are natural we can experience severe forms of ‘culture shock’ and home sickness, when we have to live in cultures other than our own.

nb the next time a small baby engages you into playing’peep-bo’ with them they are engaging you in one of the most important socialisation processes of their lives -that even when others disappear they are still ‘others’. The great delight that babies take in this game demonstrates the importance of this important step in their conceptual development ,in thier early socialisation into the relationship between ‘self and society’