How do agencies of socialisation pass on culture?


Social Control:

Idea that people's behaviour & thoughts regulated by society. Agencies of socialisation - concerned with training people to fit into cultures. 

Formal control - deliberate training of people to follow rules. Codified so everyone aware of strict rules. If rules broken sanctions occur e.g. murderer may go to prison. 

Informal control - people follow unwritten rules - norms, morals, values. e.g. someone who fails to wash has not broken a law but can expect to be ignored and rejected by others, still results in consequencces. 

The family and children:

  • Primary socialisation - learn basic rules of culture. 
  • Remains most important agency of socialisation through most people's lives. 
  • First and most important agency people are exposed to.
  • Differences in cultural traditions in child-rearing. Many countries disapprove of violence for sanctions but in Britain some parents smack their children to discipline them. Illegal in Scandinavian countries. Basic processes - similar. 
  • Cultural rules & norms passed on through:
  • Protection of child from harm e.g. possibility of social disapproval - child may be taught appropriate manners. Begins very early - children taught to maintain bodily hygiene and greet people properly. 
  • Deliberate teaching of traditions & rules - taught family history or cultural traditions - Christmas, Bonfire Night. May speak a different language at home vs wider society.
  • Social control - sanctioning through praise or punishment - grounded for infringments of family rules, or rewarded for success in grades. 
  • Children copy behaviour of family members - imitation. Family members - role models, copied by children who learn social roles from adults around them. 

Family socialisation - not necessarily 1 way process with adults controlling children. Pester power - children demand toys or treats for Christmas from parents who find it difficult to refuse. 

The family and the socialisation of adults:

  • Talcott Parsons - marriage performed vital function for society & individual. Stabilisation of adult personality. Parents - separate roles within family. Male - instrumental role, breadwinner. Women - expressive role - emotional well-being of family and take care of children. 
  • Family socialisation - continuing process, adults pass on expectations to partners & encourage them to fit into socially expected patterns of behaviour. 
  • Very controversial theory - heavily criticised - feminists - idea that adults need to adapt to changing life situations - contemporary sociologists. 
  • Life course research - socialisation lifelong process - individuals' behaviour changes over time as move into new roles with different expectations. 

Agencies of secondary socialisation:

Peer Groups:

  • Made up of people - same age & status. Friends & friendship, people in class.
  • Possible whilst you like some people, others unpleasant or bullies. 
  • First people you encounter as you develop independence from you're family - very influential, particularly in teens. 
  • Early friendships - young children very responsive to other children, begin to form friendships - 3 or 4 yrs. Children develop group norms & behaviours - differ from families. 
  • Iona & Peter Opie - street culture - adults excluded, developed through play. 
  • Peer pressure - adolescent peer groups - very…


No comments have yet been made