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lifelong process of learning to become a member of the social world, beginning at birth & continuing until death.
-important b/c major part of family, education>prepare individuals to be members of the social world.
-factors> necessary for the survival of the individual but also for survival of society & its groups.

Socializing Agents

the transmitters of culture-ppl, organizations,& institution that teaches us how to thrive in our social world.

Formal Agents

socialization is the stated goal.
-usually have some official or legal responsibility for instructing individuals
-primary roles & responsibilities
-micro level

Informal Agents

do not have to express purpose of socialization, but they function as unofficial forces that shape values, belief, & behaviors.
-Meso level

"the look-Glass Self"

a reflective process based on our interpretations of the reactions of others.
-we imagine how we want to appear to others
-others make judgements & respond
-our interpretation of ppl's reactions feed into our self-concept.
-we experience feelings & react based on our interpretation.

Theorists Credit w/ developing the Looking Glass Theory

Charles H. Cooley
GEorge Herbert Mead

Parts of Self

I- the spontaneous, unpredictable, impulsive, & largely unorganized aspect of the self.
Me- ablity to see the self as others see them & critique the behavior of the I.
:the me has learned the rules of society through socialization & interaction & it controls the I & its desires.

Stages in the Development of Self (Mead)

-imitation stage: child >3 prepare for role taking by observing others & imitating their behaviors, sound ,& gestures.
-play stage: involves a kind of playacting in which the child is actually "playing" a role.
(ie) playing house
-significant others:parents, guardian relatives or siblings whose primary & sustained interaction w/ the child are especially influential
-game stage: the child learns to take the role of multiple others concurrently.
(ie) 6yr old playing t-ball

Generalized other

process gradually builds up a composite of societal exceptions
-child learns to internalize the expectations of any "significant other"


process of shedding one or more positions &taking on others
-involves changing from establish patterns learned earlier in life to new one suitable to newly acquired status.
-major transition in your life
(ie) divorce, military

Rites of passages

are celebrations or public recognitions when individuals shift from one status to another

Positive Sanctions

a reward or positive reaction for following norms, ranging from a smile to a material reward

Negative Sanctions

an expression of disapproval for breaking a norm, ranging from a mild, informal reaction such as a frown to a formal reaction such as a prison sentence or an execution


involves an individual or a family that has national loyalty to more than one country.

Conflict Theorist view Socialization

w/ linkage between various parts of the social world based on competition w/ or even direct opposition to another part.
-believe that those who have power & privileges use socialization to manipulate individuals in the social world to support the power structure & the self interest of the elite.

Structural Functionalist view Socialization

tend to see different levels of the social world operating to support each other.

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