Primary socialisation

  • The process where children learn the norms and values of their culture primarily through the family and also the media. 

Secondary socialisation

The process where individuals continue to learn norms and values outside the family through education, religion, peers and the media throughout their life. 

Nature/Nurture debate case studies

These are arguments for and against the view that socialisation is a fundamental part of human development.

  • Three identical strangers - triplets separated at birth for a social experiment.
  • Bruce Reimer - bad surgery led to him being brought up as a girl by his parents but he went back to a girl.
  • Genie Wiley - victim of abuse and isolation because her dad thought she was disabled.
1 of 3

Agents of socialisation


  • The early ages of life with intimate/prolonged contact with family.
  • We learn through our parents via. imitation and trial and error.

Peer Group

  • The ages of 5-18 where we are at school with people of a similar age.
  • Peers become more influential than parents and may cause deviancy.


  • We learn a formal curriculum with links to the values of our society (learning English is important).
  • We learn an informal curriculum outside of lessons (competition is good).
2 of 3

Agents of socialisation


  • Arguably the most important agent because it is everywhere.
  • It represents us in certain ways (e.g. sexualises women) and we are influenced easily (e.g. copying crimes from film).


  • Losing influence because societies are becoming more secular.
  • In multi-faith societies religion is more important than in British society.


  • Formal socialisation: learning rules, dress codes etc.
  • Informal socialisation: no sucking up to the boss, sit on this table etc.
3 of 3


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Culture and Socialisation resources »