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How Important Is Primary Socialisation

In: Social Issues

Submitted By JessicaKwan
Words 450
Pages 2
Primary socialization is the process of becoming able members of several institutions, including family, religion, culture and education. During primary socialization, language, norms, values and basic expectations of society are learnt, such as the way to dress, eat and communicate, leading to the moral outcome needed to survive. Sociologists have a variety of theories telling us how children understand their role in the social order.
George Herbert Mead developed a theory of social behaviorism explaining how social experiences develop a child's self-concept. He argued that the self does not exist at birth, but develops only through social experience, which is the exchange of symbols. Therefore, we tend to find meaning in every action, and further, imagining the intention of others. Others act as a mirror in which we can see ourselves, according to Mead. The key to developing ourselves is learning to take the role of the other. However, with limited social experience, infants are only able to develop a sense of their identity through imitation. He concluded that the final stage of primary socialization is the generalized other, referring to the widespread cultural norms and values.
Cooley devised the term, 'looking glass self', meaning self image based on how we think others view us. He claimed that we form our self-images through interaction with other people. He was particularly interested in how significant others shape us as individuals. A significant other is someone whose opinions matter to us and who is in a position to influence our thinking, especially about ourselves.
Primary socialization develops an individual's gender identity. A person conforms to what is seen as acceptable masculine or feminine behavior. Canalization refers to boys and girls having different experiences in their early childhood years: it is seen as the norm to dress a baby boy in...

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