Socialization is a process of learning the norms, rules, regulations, values and attitudes of society. It is a life-long process that begins from childhood to the death of a person. Socialization is a vital learning process through which society exists. Each society socializes its members according to its own values. For example, if a baby enters American society, he / she socializes according to the characteristics of American society. Similarly, children in Russian societies are being socialized according to the characteristics of Russian societies. A man learns forms of attitudes, behaviors, languages and cultures of a society through the process of socialization.
What is human nature?
The debate on “nature” (inheritance) and “nurture” (the social environment) has been going on for decades. Some scientists think that nature plays an important role in socialization, while others see that nurturing is just the way to socialize a member. To answer this controversial question, one can give logical reasons that human beings do not have a natural language. An infant comes into this society having only bones, meat, and a breathing system. If this baby remains isolated for several years, he will not be able to speak a single word. Inheritance provides the essential things that are important for growth, but the social environment is much more important than the inheritance through which children learn the language. Without the concept of language, a member cannot create relationships with others. Language is a source for creating relationships and participating in social interaction. Therefore, nurturing or the social environment is so important that it turns an animal into a social animal.
Cooley and the mirror self
Charles Hurton Cooley was a renowned social scientist who thought that our sense of self develops from interaction with others. To describe this process, Cooley coined the term “mirror self theory” in 1902.
According to Cooley, there are three elements to the mirror self theory.
1. We imagine how we see each other. For example, we can guess that others see us as smart or stupid.
2. We interpret the reactions of others We can get to know how others evaluate us. Do they like us to be smart? Don’t we like them for being stupid?
3. We develop a self-concept. After the reactions of others, we develop feelings and ideas about ourselves.
Mirror self theory is like a “social mirror” in which a person can see their reflection. This process of self-development clearly shows us the image of our personality. We can judge our personality by feedback from others. Therefore, the self-study process plays an important role in the socialization process.
The agents of socialization are the people and groups that influence our emotions, attitudes and behavior, etc. Family, religion, daycare, school, peer groups, and the workplace are the 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 language of the family. Slowly and gradually, children learn the roles of family members. He / she recognizes the roles of father, mother, sisters and brothers. It has been seen that most children follow the role of others like putting on glasses and reading newspapers like their parents do.
Religion is also an important agent of socialization where an individual learns about right and wrong. Religions provide basic ideas of morality that become part of our life in the future. Religion teaches us about the way we dress, talk, and customs that suit us on formal occasions.
Daycare is another agent of socialization in which children socialize and benefit from others. It has become a tradition in all societies to hire a person for a daily wage to care for children. The day care process stimulates the intellectual personality of children.
• School and peer groups
School and peer groups are the agents of socialization where a child meets a large group of people of similar age. In addition to education, students are linked to each other by common interests. In this way of sharing common ideas and interests, students find peer groups for themselves and begin to learn from those peer groups. Friends, clubs, gangs, and neighbors are some examples of peer groups. Upon entering a school and peer group, a member begins to learn new norms and characteristics such as athletic ability, freshness, endurance, physical appearance and attraction, etc.
• Work place
The workplace is another agent of socialization in which an individual enters a middle age. Apparently, the workplace is the place where an individual serves as an employer and earns a few dollars. In addition to this, an employer has many opportunities to learn essential things for the future. Co-workers have always been seen to advise on future plans and lifestyles. It can be said that it is a kind of trial for future activities. Thus, the workplace is demonstrated to be a socializing agent where an individual has the opportunity to learn a great deal.
Socialization is a life-long process in which an individual learns the essentials of society. Norms, customs, values, attitudes, thoughts and customs are transmitted from one generation to another with the help of socialization. A child brings few things to him in inheritance, but the social environment provides the whole of life with the help of socialization. Charles Hurton Cooley presented the mirror ego theory that contributes greatly to the socialization process. When it comes to agents of socialization, there are five main agents, such as family, religion, daycare, school, peer groups, and the workplace.