Agents of Socialization
Although socialization occurs throughout our entire life, the most crucial moments of socialization occurs during our childhood. During that period in our lives, there are four agents of socialization that are dominant. These agents include; our family members, peers, the school we go to, and the mass media. The most crucial element of socialization is family.
Infants are completely dependent on others for their survival. The family is usually the first social institution that shapes a child’s individual and personality. The main reason why children turn out like their parents is because they are the most important part of their children’s socialization process. From families, children are able to inherit a position in the social structure. According to Monnier, children inherit their habitus from their families (Monnier, 2011). Habitus is what makes an individual as part of a certain social class, such as their manners, vocabulary, speech patterns, body language, and posture.
Families of children also determine their social structure because from the moment they are born, their chances in life are generally influenced by the position of their families in the society. This is because families transmit to their children their educational level, resources, economic capital, and the access to their family’s general social connections. Also, working-class parents and middle-class parents tend to socialize with their children differently. According to Kohn, working-class parents tend to emphasize obedience and respect for authority when raising their children, mainly because they work in factories where they are mostly told what to do (Kohn, 2016). On the other hand, middle class parents tend to emphasize independence in their children because they have white-collar jobs where they must have independent ability to examine in order to survive.
The sex of a child also influences how they interact with their parents. Parents help their children learn more about their gender. That is, parents help the male children how to act and think like men, and help their female children how to act and think like women (Kohn, 2016).