Social Studies

Meaning, types and agents of socialization

Meaning of Socialization

Socialization is the process by which individuals acquire the languages, belief, values and technical skills of his society. Socialization is a life-long process from which we are always learning. The process of learning the culture of a community is called socialization. Every society is faced with the necessity of making a responsible member out of each child born into it. The child must learn the expectations of the society so that his behaviour can be relied upon. He must acquire the group norms. Society must socializes each member so that his behaviour will be meaningful in terms of the group norms.

Types of Socialization

There are two types of socialization, they are:

  1. Primary socialization
  2. Secondary socialization

Primary Socialization: This is when the child is born and helpless. Most of what he learns are through the efforts of older persons.

Secondary Socialization: This is the time a person is old enough to learn by himself. He learns new roles, new skills and new ways.

Agents of Socialization

There are many agents of socialization through which the individuals are socialized into the community. They are:

  1. The family and home
  2. Peer group
  3. The school or educational institutions
  4. Religious organizations
  5. Mass media
  6. Age group
  7. The community
  8. Voluntary organizations

The Family

This is the child’s first experience of the world. It is the primary agent of socialization; since we all know that every child is born into a family. The socialized adult members of the family teach the child the language, basic values such as how to speak to elders, etc.

Peer Group

As a child grows up, he attends school and plays with his age group. These playmates or peer groups have their own rules and regulations which members must obey. E.g. A child learns how to behave in a group.

The School

The process of socialization which began at home continues at school. At school, the child is given an all-round education in physical development (psychomotor), attitudinal development (affective) and intellectual development (cognitive).

Religious Institutions

Through religious institutions, the members are taught desirable values such as love, faithfulness, honesty, etc.

The Mass Media

This include the radio, television, newspapers,magazine, etc. All these increase the awareness of children and adults about what is happening around them and all over the world.

Age Group

In any traditional society, age group is the most important agency of socialization.

The Community

The community defines the acceptable ways by which members should behave. It praises and honours those who obey its rules and regulations while those who disobeyed are disgraced and punished.

Voluntary Organizations

These include Red Cross, Boy’s Brigade, and Rotary Club, Road Safety Club, etc. They impart certain skills and values on their members.


  1. Define socialization.
  2. Mention and explain two types of socialization.
  3. What are the significance of socialization.
  4. Mention five agents of socialization.
  5. Which of the agents of socialization is primary?

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