Examine the Ways in Which Two of the Following Agencies May Shape the Process of Socialisation

  • Ways in which agencies of socialisaton influence/shape an individual's process of socialisation
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Examine the ways in which two of the following agencies may
shape the process of socialisation: family, education, mass
media, and religion
The process of socialisation is responsible for allowing an individual to be able to
interact with others within society and equipping him or her with the skills to be able to
do so. These skills come in the form of common values, customs, norms, languages
and behaviour. (Norms being the behaviours deemed acceptable in society and values
being the beliefs which are linked to theses norms.) Socialisation is essential for human
society as a whole because it is the means by which culture is taught to each new
generation. It's also a means of continuous learning for an individual and is taught
through the agencies of socialisation. Agencies of socialisation also teach us how to
behave in a way that is acceptable to society and that others expect of us. These
agencies are categorised into different groups, the first being the primary agencies of
socialisation. A primary agency of socialisation is the family, those who an individual is
closest to from birth. The second group would be the secondary agencies of
socialisation and falling under this category are schools (education), work, friends,
religion, mass media and the government. These agencies are the institutions, places
and people who assist an individual in finding their place within society. I have chosen to
examine the ways in which family and the mass media shape the process of
socialisation. This essay will discuss that two specific agencies have on the process of
socialisation, whilst examining the similarities/differences they may share.
For most individuals the family is a major agency of socialisation and arguably the
most important one. This could be for a number of reasons, some of which may include
the fact that an individual interacts with members of their family from birth and another
being that family is seen as essential in socialising new members into the norms, values
and behaviours of the family's culture. This agent of socialisation shapes the process of
socialisation in numerous different ways, one being that the family provides an
individual with their primary socialisation and in doing this they give him/her the norms
and values which are needed to get on in the wider world. An example of basic norms
and values which have been instilled in most individuals by family members are those of
respect ­ not talking back, being polite ­ saying please and thank you and honesty ­
not stealing, telling the truth. Linking on from the previous point would be that the family
provides individuals with their first experiences of social control setting boundaries
and teaching them what is right from wrong (going back to norms and values). Once
these boundaries are broken, there would be repercussions or punishments and the
severity of the punishment could be influenced by a number of things. One factor
affecting the severity of a punishment is the background of an individual, for instance in
a typical African or West Indian home, the punishment for a child would be one of a
physical nature, whereas in most British homes the punishment may be to ground or
take the child's most prized possession away for a short period of time. These
boundaries would also shape the process of socialisation, as it teaches the child that
there is a consequence to every wrong doing ­ providing a clear structure from which
the child learns about the outside world. Another example of how the family provides this

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A third way in which the family shapes the process of socialisation is by helping children
to internalize culture and develop a social identity which will enable them to be able to
go out to schools, play groups and other places and interact with others whilst forming
friendships. This is because if the child is familiar with their own culture and confident in
it, they'll be sure of themselves and through interaction with other children, will become
more knowledgeable about other cultures.…read more

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TV programmes, amongst other things. On most
buses today, passengers have access to the media, through the metro newspapers
which are at the front of the bus or ones that have been left behind by other passengers.
Mass media allows an individual's social life and social interaction to be enhanced and
this shapes the process of socialisation greatly. The norms and values that an individual
has learnt through face to face interaction can be easily changed through non face to
face interaction.…read more

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