Wolf Sociology Textbook Ch. 4 Section 1 (Part 1): The Role of Socialization Key Points Socialization prepares people to participate in a social group by teaching them its norms and expectations. Socialization has three primary goals: teaching impulse control and developing a conscience, preparing people to perform certain social roles, and cultivating shared sources of meaning and value. Socialization is culturally specific, but this does not mean certain cultures are better or worse than others. Example The belief that killing is immoral is an American norm, learned through socialization. As children grow up, they are exposed to social cues that foster this norm, and they begin to form a conscience composed of this and other norms. Textbook Content The role of socialization is to acquaint individuals with the norms of a social group or society. Socialization prepares future members to participate in a group by teaching them the expectations held by other group members. Socialization is an important process for children, who are socialized at home and in school (Figure 1). For children, the process teaches what will be expected of them as they grow up and become full members of society. It is also important for adults who join new social groups. Broadly defined, socialization is the process of transferring norms, values, beliefs, and behaviors to future group members. Three Goals of Socialization In his 1995 paper, “Broad and Narrow Socialization: The Family in the Context of a Cultural Theory,” sociologist Jeffrey J. Arnett outlined his interpretation of the three primary goals of socialization. First, socialization teaches impulse control and helps individuals develop a conscience. This first goal is accomplished naturally: as people grow up within a particular society, they pick up on the expectations of those around them and internalize these expectations to moderate their impulses and develop a conscience. Second, socialization teaches individuals how to prepare for and perform certain social roles—occupational roles, gender roles, and the roles of institutions such as marriage and parenthood. Third, socialization cultivates shared sources of meaning and value. Through socialization, people learn to identify what is important and valued within a particular culture. The term "socialization" refers to a general process, but socialization always takes place in specific contexts. Socialization is culturally specific: people in different cultures are socialized differently, to hold different beliefs and values, and to behave in different ways. Sociologists try to understand socialization, but they do not rank different schemes of socialization as good or bad; they study practices of socialization to determine why people behave the way that they do. Vocabulary 1. context: The surroundings, circumstances, environment, background, or settings that determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event or other occurrence 2. culture: The beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects that constitute a people's way of life 3. family: A group of people related by blood, marriage, law or custom 4. gender: The socio-cultural phenomenon of the division of people into various categories such as male and female, with each having associated roles, expectations, stereotypes, etc 5. gender roles: Sets of social and behavioral norms that are generally considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship 6. goal: A desired result that one works to achieve 7. group: A number of things or persons being in some relation to one another 8. internalize: To make something internal; to incorporate it in oneself 9. marriage: The union of two (or sometimes more) people, usually to the exclusion of all others 10. social group: A collection of humans or animals that share certain characteristics, interact with one another, accept expectations and obligations as members of the group, and share a common identity. 11. socialization: The process of learning one’s culture and how to live within it 12. Social Roles: One’s position and responsibilities in society, which are largely determined in modern developed nations by occupation and family position 13. society: a long-standing group of people sharing cultural aspects such as language, dress, norms of behavior and artistic forms 14. value: The degree of importance given to something 15. values: A collection of guiding principles; what one deems to be correct and desirable in life, especially regarding personal conduct.