Family socialization begins a process through which humans learn and develop to be the adult persons they become. Has this happened to you? You have a close friend, Joan, whom you've known for many years, and finally you meet her family and think to yourself, "Now I understand where Joan gets those habits and behaviors from." For some, the effects of family socialization are very evident and long lasting; for others, there is not much obvious effect; and for still others, it looks like there's no relationship at all. If you look closely, you'll see that some adults choose to adopt behaviors and values that are completely opposite from those of their families. For those individuals, you might also say, "Now I understand why Allan is that way." The socialization is just as strong, but it has a different effect.
For some adults, their interactions with family continues in such a close relationship that the family maintains a dominant role in their ongoing socialization. You probably know some friends in that kind of situation.
Effects of Family Socialization
Erikson's stages of development offer another model for understanding socialization. In each stage there are influences or agents of socialization who have an impact on the child and the messages of socialization being received. As the child develops and advances in psychosocial development, the agents become stronger or weaker in their capacity for influence. Early in a child's development, the family is, of course, the strongest agent, but as the child advances to preschool age, programs or schools begin to exert influence. At school age, peers are active socialization agents. For the first eight years, family, school, community, and peers play a role in the following aspects of a child's socialization:
- The development of trust
- The development of independence
- The tendency to take initiative
- The sense of competence and ambition
- Decisions about who one is
- Relationships with others
- Decisions about future generations
- Reflections on one's life
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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