Assignment: Agents of Socialization
In this assignment, you will apply this information by analyzing the agents of socialization
as they impact a specific individual in writing an essay between 600-700 words.
STEP 1: Identity and very briefly describe the agents of socialization.
STEP 2: Choose an individual to use as a case study to better understand each
agent of socialization. This example can be a real person, or it can be a character
from a television show, movie, or book. Discuss the various change agents this
person has in their life.
STEP 3: In a majority of situations, change agents aren’t always “on the same
page” and social expectations between agents may create difficulty or conflict for
an individual. Using your example, identify a situation in which the social
expectation varied between agents. What are some ways an individual may
respond to these conflicting expectations?
Your assignment should have a title, introduction, body, and conclusion.
IMPACTS OF THE AGENTS OF SOCIALIZATION
Agents of socialization refer to groups, individuals, and institutions that have an influence on the interaction of members of society whether formally or informally. The major agents of socialization are peers, family, mass media, and schools. These shape an individual’s behavior, values, and self-awareness.
The family is the backbone agent of socialization in every society as the young children first interact and learn the values and beliefs of the society from their families. As children are growing, they spend ample time with their parents. During this time, the values, behavior, and language are being passed onto the children as they develop and have self-awareness. Peer groups refer to a group of people with the same interests, social status, and age. These groups have a major influence on an individual’s behavior, values, and also their identity. Peer groups are mainly formed in school and school is a major agent of socialization. In school students are taught both the formal academics and the informal expected behavior in the society. In addition to classroom learning, students are also taught obedience, patience, time management, and teamwork. This equips the students with skills to survive in the outside world like their workplaces to achieve the set goals.
Mass media being an agent of socialization includes platforms such as television, radio, social media, newspapers that pass information to people. Some of the platforms may be one way, which is from the sender to the recipient, but others such as social media allow people to interact. This gives the people a wider view of different cultures and ideas and also enables them to give their reactions. Mass media also has a great influence on people’s beliefs and choices. For instance, how news is reported has an impact on how people view society's issues. Apart from the main agents of socialization, people’s behavior can also be influenced by institutions that control their lives, like the military, mental institutions, and religious organizations.
A case study on an individual namely Peter shows how different agents of socialization have an influence on an individual’s behavior and values. Peter was born into a wealthy family. As he was growing he was taught the virtue of sharing and he was also taught his mother tongue. As a young boy, he was able to share the little he had with his peers, like his toys. Peter had the privilege of going to a good school that had children from all walks of life, middle family, wealthy, and the less fortunate. Peter would share his food with the kids who had none. When they traveled to their upcountry, Peter was able to interact with his peers in his mother tongue despite his social status. In school, Peter was also taught the importance of teamwork and time management that he was able to apply in his workplace where he had the position of marketing director. He was among the best employees. Through mass media, like television that brought business news, Peter was able to make future predictions of the market that had a great influence on the sales for the company he was working for.
On some occasions, the social agents are not also always aligned. According to Peter’s case, society expected since he was from a wealthy family, it would be a walk in the park for him in life. He would go to the best private academic schools, have all the connections to all the high-end places he aspired and dreamt to be in. On the contrary, Peter had to work hard in school like other students and get the best grades so he would secure himself a job. He also had to work his way up to the top ranks at his workplace like other employees. His parents despite their wealth opted for Peter to work his way out through life rather than give him an easy way out by giving all the opportunities on a silver platter.
In conclusion, family as an agent of socialization creates a solid foundation for an individual’s life. Other agents of socialization like peer groups give additional but important values to an individual’s life.