Socialization is an interactive, staged, learning process. It begins shortly after birth and through which children learn how to become active and competent members of the society they live in. During the different processes of socialization, children learn the language of the community or culture they are born into, as well as the different roles that their society has in store for them. In this essay I am going to explain how socialization is a continuous process during children’s lives. I will look at the different contexts affecting this process such as the family environment, school and friends, as well as taking into account diverse factors such as age, gender and culture. I will also look at how far children are actively involved in the socialization process as well as some of the diverse child-rearing practices found in society.
good- helpful clear introduction to your essay
The interactions between a child and their family environment constitute an integral part in their socialization process. Across different cultures parents will exercise parental guidance according to their cultural norms and beliefs. In the study carried out in the 1960s by two American anthropologists Robert and Yolanda Murphy, amongst the children of the Mundurucu tribe in the Amazon basin (Ch1, Socializing Children, Reading A p34), we learnt how children were slowly being set up for their adult roles. From their studies we could see the gendered nature of these activities, where girls were shown how to make farinha and boys were initiated in fishing and hunting. good helpful reflection and understanding – you might also comment that this socialization process was very much a community activity and not just down to the child s’ parents. This is a pattern commonly found in Western societies today. Parents commonly encourage their sons and daughters to participate in sex-type activities, including doll playing and engaging in household activities such as cooking or sewing for girls and playing with cars or soldiers and engaging in sports activities for boys. The structure in which children are socialized by their parents and/or care givers is perhaps best exemplified in another anthropological research carried out by Dr Samantha Punch (Stirling University).
The Essay on A Summary of ’Mass Media, Television, and Children’s Socialization: Making Peace With TV’
... in the process of youth socialization. It is clear that the study soncerns children and adolescents ... agents, for whom the given examples are parents, family, teachers and the church. Argument ... habits and activities are directly related to the results of interplay within the socialization factors ( ... society. The next part aims to give a theoretical background for the understanding of socialization, ...
Punch looked at the childhoods from rural communities in Bolivia (Punch, 2001, cited in Ch1, Socializing Children, pp 22-25).
The academic highlighted an aged based hierarchy in the completion of tasks. Punch noted that the majority of tasks were initially performed under close supervision of an adult and in some cases an older peer until the children were able to perform the tasks by themselves. again you might add the reflection here that this was a clearly defined “community practice” in which the children engaged, and developed knowledge and skills of work This model of guided participation is discussed by American psychologist Barbara Rogoff in Ch1 Socializing Children, p21. Rogoff suggests that the concept of guided participation is employed by parents and care givers alike in communities to assist and support young children’s participation in everyday activities. In these communities children are expected to learn these tasks at their own initiative through observation and imitation. Therefore their socialization is very much shaped by the parents and care givers and the example that they set to young children. good helpful understanding here – you can add that language is seen as key to this model, as such we might argue that the development of language is a key feature of children s’ socialisation process.
What are the agents of children Socialization? Socialization Agents Introduction What is an agent of socialization? An agent of socialization is people and groups that influence our self-concept, emotions, attitudes and behavior. There are five agents that play a role in the socialization of children. Every agent of socialization plays a role in the development of children. In this essay I play on ...
We can see further examples of how adults affect the socialization process of children, which varies across different cultures and communities. The children shown in video 2 “Band 1 Daily Lives”, features contrasting examples of child rearing practices amongst parents. you can add some detailed reflection here to draw out some key points, you might emphasise diversity eg in the site where children spend their time, who they interact with etc as key to understanding their socialization experiences. You can also consider children s’ agency from these examples. Rudolph Shaffer, a British psychologist, researched this topic and presented four different models of child rearing practices (Ch 1 What is Socialization, section 3.2, p11).
These included “Laissez-faire”, “Clay-Moulding”, “Conflict” and “Mutuality”. He established an analogy with historical discourses on childhood, being the Romantic, the Blank Slate or Tabula Rassa, and the Puritan discourses (Shaffer, 1995).
The “Laissez-faire” model of socialization was linked to Romantic ideas of the eighteenth century. It contemplated the child as pre-formed and allowed the child greater freedom to develop at their own rate. Parents expected children to progressively acquire and adapt to the different norms and beliefs relative to the community they lived in. This is in stark contrast to the Mundurucu tribe that I discussed earlier as the socialization process of children is very different. Is it? What about the boys experience where they live quite independent of adult involvement until around 14 ? In video 2 “Band 1 Daily Lives” we see an example from Oakland, in which Chet, a white middle-class child is able to choose the subjects he want to at school. Both his parents also give him plenty of freedom to go outside the house on his bicycle. This socialization process is in stark contrast to Cathy’s situation, a girl of Chinese origin. In Cathy’s culture issues such as gender, cultural norms and wealth have obvious influences on her socialization process, as they dictate how her socialization into the adult world will develop. You could suggest that her experience of child rearing was more alike the clay moulding approach Schaffer described. On the other hand, Wilfred a South-African “street-kid” from Cape Town who features in video 2 “Band 1 Daily lives”, tells us that his parents do not take care of him, something that he seems to accept as if it was the norm. Therefore from these examples we can see that different cultures have very different values, which in turn affects the socialization processes of the children that live within them. In light of this it suggest that the “Laissez-faire” model highlighted above is not a “one size fits all” child rearing practice.
Divorced parents' children vs. Married parents children Each year, more than 1 million children experience the divorce of their parents. In 1995, less than 60% of US children were living with both biologic parents, almost 25% were living with their mother only, approximately 4% were living with their father only, and the rest were living with step - families, adoptive families, or foster families ...
The “clay-moulding” or blank slate (tabula rassa) model contemplates the child as a “formless lump of clay”. It sees the society in the shape of parents, schooling and training institutions that will proceed to socialize of the child in whatever shape they desire (Schaffer, 1995, p132).
This child-rearing model sees children as passive recipients of the socialization process. helpful understanding
The “Conflict” model contemplates the socialization process of children in terms of confrontation. Contrary to the clay moulding model, children are not seen as passive recipients of socialization, but instead their wishes and desires from an early age impel them to behave in certain ways (Shaffer, 1995, p133).
This model is linked to Puritan discourses on childhood (Thomas Hobbs) which saw children coming to the world as little savages.
The “Mutuality” model contemplates children as being born with a yearning to socialize, bringing in aspects of both the laissez-faire model and the conflict model and as a result conditioning a mutual agreement between the child and the parent and/or care giver. This model can be seen as a system of reward and punishment where the main aim is to have a sensitive approach towards the socializing process of the child.
One interesting aspect of children’s socialization is children’s own views on the socialization process. Cleopatre Montadon a Swiss sociologist, studied this aspect by conducting a survey of 67 boys and girls aged eleven to twelve years old. The children were from Geneva and the aim was to try and understand their views on child-rearing practices (Ch1 Socializing Children, section 3.3 pp14-15).
Most states lack uniform methods of recording the demographic information regarding an inmate’s children. Moreover, many inmates may choose not to identify their children for the fear of the possibility of adverse involvement from various child welfare agencies. A Black child in the United States is nine times more likely than a White child to have a parent in prison. A Hispanic child is three ...
The children showed a clear understanding of the child-parent power imbalance. In the survey they discussed the many different strategies they used when dealing with their parents. In most cases, children appeared to expect some sort of discipline from their parents and they even viewed a lack of discipline as their parent not caring enough. This is in stark contrast to the example of Wilfred from South Africa, whose socialization process was mentioned above. However it is worth noting that this survey belongs to a very specific social group, namely western children who probably belonged to middle class families and who possibly had stable family environments. This survey would have probably produced some very different responses if it had been carried with 67 street children from Cape Town. good – helpful weighing up of different course materials
Children’s intellectual development and socialization processes within different contexts are closely connected. In two different case studies discussed in Ch1 Socializing Children, section 4.1 p18, we learn of two very different approaches by parents to shape their children’s emotions. In one example we see how an Inuit community of northern Canada assigns different meanings to negative feelings/ emotions/ bad temper, with amusing or funny innuendos. In these communities children are first shaped by adult behaviour and then by observing and imitating adults. They eventually show the considered acceptable behaviour amongst the Inuits. On the other hand, a case study of children from South Baltimore in the USA, shows us how some mothers encourage their daughters to show aggression to towards their peers in order to learn how to stand up for themselves. However, they must also learn when to appropriately show this emotion so that it is not aimed at the mothers themselves. In these contrasting case studies, we witness different types of what is deemed to be acceptable behaviour. and how this behaviour is developed through childrens socialization experiences However the children themselves will be behaving properly in the context of their own cultural setting and in a way that would be welcomed by their parents or care givers.
Establishing discipline through authoritative parenting is an effective style because it displays secure emotional development, allows a higher quality of supportive peer relationships and enhances problem-solving skills for the child. Research has shown that authoritative parenting is the most effective style of parenting. Authoritative parenting is the one style that promotes equal involvement ...
The socialization process of children takes place in many different contexts (Mundurucu, rural Bolivia, Geneve, etc).
Age, gender and ultimately cultural beliefs all play a major role in the shaping of children’s behaviour. The more contexts that a child is exposed to, the more influences there are. The strongest influence on gender role development seems to occur within the family setting, with parents passing on their own beliefs about gender. The British psychologist H.R. Schaffer believes there are several models of child-rearing practices such as the “Laissez-faire” or Romantic model, the “Clay-moulding” or Blank slate model, the “Conflict” or model or the “Mutuality” model however it is difficult to say that one alone is responsible for socialization processing. No- but his point was that child rearing practices tend to follow one model more closely than another, although admittedly a parent/carer may reflect several models in different contexts What we know for certain is that as communities and populations continue to develop the socialization processes that shape children, will continue to evolve further. you could add reference here to the issue of discontinuities and conflicts in children socialization experiences, especially in the context of modern multi cultural societies where people of different cultural backgrounds are brought together into more diverse communities.