Socialization is the process of learning how to become part of a culture. Through socialization one learns the culture’s language, their role in life, and what is expected from them. Socialization is a very important process in the forming of personality. Socialization occurs when one interacts with other people. Socialization allows all individuals in a community to develop very similar values, norms, and beliefs (O’Neil, 2009). Socialization is a lifelong process, though the early stages of socialization are crucial (Shepard, 2009, p. 90). Without Socialization a person will develop different physical and mental disabilities. Socialization is a very important life process.
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The socialization of young children is very important. During the first few years of children’s live, children interacts only with a few different people, mostly family. Everything children see and hear leaves an impression on them. In this time children learn to walk, learn talk, develop the ability to have a relationship, and start developing personality. A very important part of socialization is role taking. The first step in role taking is the preparatory stage. The Preparatory stage is also known as the imitation stage. This stage begins shortly after the first year of life. In this stage children imitate things happening around them, including sounds and physical movement, but do not understand what they are imitating. Around age three or four children begin the play stage. In the play stage children start to take the role of one person at a time (Chapter 4: Socialization). Children pretend to be a mother, father, police officer, firefighter, teacher, doctor, or someone the children know or see; most likely someone the children look up to. In this stage children imitate being someone else by doing things they think that person would do. The third and final stage of developing role taking is the game stage. The game stage generally starts around age six. In the game stage children imitate the roles of several others at the same time. In the game stage the children learns to play sports and participate in group activities that require them to have some idea of what other people expect from them. In this stage the children understands the roles of multiple people at the same time. Role taking allows people to be part of a group (Shepard, 2009, p.96).
Another part of the process of socialization is cognitive development. Cognitive development refers to the development of thinking, knowing, perceiving, judging, and reasoning. Children develop these abilities through things occurring around them. According to Piaget’s theory Cognitive intelligence develops in stages. In Piaget’s theory there are four stages; the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage (Huitt and Hummel, 2003). The sensorimotor stage begins at birth and ends around age two. During this stage the children learns how to coordinate body movements with thoughts. They learn that they are separate from other objects, and can cause things to happen. The second stage is the preoperational stage. This stage starts around age two and ends around age seven. In this stage the children learns to associate symbols and language with objects. Children see everything through their own view point. During this stage children are very self-centered. The third stage, the stage of concrete operations, starts around age eight and ends around age twelve. In this stage children learn to solve problems and reason using physical objects. The fourth and final stage is the Formal operation stage. This stage begins around age thirteen and continues into adulthood. In this stage individuals begin to reason without using physical objects or symbols. They learn to make a hypothesis to solve a problem. All of these stages make up cognitive development (Shepard, 2009, p.95, 96).
There are three major Sources of Socialization that affect Children; family, school, mass media. The Family is one of the most important parts of socialization for children, because, their first contact is with family, and for the first few years of life children interact mostly with family. Children learn their values, norms, and beliefs from their family. Their family is a large factor in what other people think about individuals. In School children are in the hands of adults other than parents. In school children learn to be less dependent on their parents. In school children learn discipline, order, cooperation, and conformity. In schools children socialize with friends. Mass media includes television, radio, newspapers, magazines, movies, books, and the internet. This form of socialization can be positive or negative. Children learn how different social statuses are expected to behave. Sometimes mass media distorts reality, and makes things appear more exciting than it really is. These things have a great influence on children and are a very important part of socialization (Shepard, 2009, p.102-106).
Without socialization children will not develop skills necessary for living. They are not able to learn to talk, walk, eat, use the bathroom, read, write, and many other things. There are some documented observations of children who have been socially isolated. Three of these are Anna, Isabelle, and Genie (shepard, 2009, p.91).
Anna was the second child to her unmarried mother. They lived with Anna’s grandfather. Anna’s mother thought that if her father would see Anna he would be angered. Because of this, Anna was forced to live in a room that was much like an attic. She was never given food, she lived solely on milk. When she was discovered at age five, she could not walk, talk, and she showed no sign of intelligence. Shortly after she was discovered, she was placed in a country home for children. Within a year and a half at the country home she learned to understand simple commands, eat, keep herself clean, and walk. Her speech made some improvement, but her speech was still the equivalent of a one-year-old. After the year and a half at the country home, she was transferred to a school for retarded children. At the school she made some progress in her speech, it was equivalent to the speech of a two-year-old. She learned to do lots of very basic things, such as bounce and catch a ball, eat normally, use the bathroom, dress herself, build with blocks, identify a few colors, and brush her teeth. She died at age ten (Shepard, 2009, p.91, 92).
Isabelle was the daughter of a single mother. Her mother was a deaf-mute. Isabelle was kept in dark room with her mother. She was found at age six. Her legs were bowed, she could not talk, and she was scared of strangers. She was put into an intensive program of rehabilitation, she had a slow start, but then she progressed very quickly. In two years she acquired the skills of a six-year-old. When she was eight, her education was equivalent to the children her own age. Her progress may be linked to the presence of her mother when she was isolated (Shepard, 2009, p.92).
Genie was locked in a room from the time she was two till she was discovered, at age thirteen. She was completely silent, because her father punished her for making any vocal sounds. She could not chew food, because she had never been given solid food. She could not stand strait, or straiten her arms. Genie was not successful in her four years of rehabilitation. After her rehabilitation she could not read, could only speak in short phrases, and she just started to control her feelings and behavior (Shepard, 2009, p.92).
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Socialization among children is very important. Children must learn to walk, talk, eat, and lots of other life skills. Without socialization individuals can not develop intelligence, and never learn how to perform basic daily functions. Children must know the values, beliefs, and norms of the surrounding culture, so that they will be able to know what is expected from them. The process of socialization and the sources of socialization are very important in the developing of children. Socialization is a very Important Process throughout life, but it the most important in young children.
Chapter 4: Socialization. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.latech.edu/tech/liberal-arts/sociology/white/3socialization.htm
Huitt, W., & Hummel, J. (n.d.). Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University, Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/cogsys/piaget.html
O’Neil, D. (2009, January 3). socialization. Retrieved September 28, 2009, from anthro.palomar.edu/social/soc_1.htm
Shepard, J. M. (2009). Sociology (Cengage Advantage Books). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
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