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Agents of Socialization

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* Family is the most important agent of socialization in all societies. Families serve important functions in society because they are the primary locus for the procreation and socialization of children. Families are also the primary source of emotional support.

* My family is always there for me. I’m a very emotional person, so I get extra attention and love from my family. Without their unconditional love and support, I would definitely be a different person in society. I probably wouldn’t have gone to college if it wasn’t for my parents’ support in high school. I probably wouldn’t be as confident as I am if it was for their love.

The Peers:

* Peer group is defined as a group of people who are linked by common interests, equal social position, and usually similar age. Once we’re able to, most of us begin to rely on our peers for information and approval about social behavior.

* By the time I was in middle school, my friends and I were dressing alike, wearing the same hair styles, and behaving the exact same way. I didn’t want my parents shopping with me anymore because my friends’ opinions mattered most. Even though I wasn’t doing any of these things, I was always comfortable talking about sex, drugs, and other social issues with my peers, rather than my parents.

The School:

* Schools play a huge role in the socialization of young people. Schools have a profound effect on children’s self-image, beliefs, and values. Students have different experiences in the school systems depending on their social class, racial-ethnic background, neighborhood, and gender.

* The town that I grew up in was 85% black, so I was never really exposed to other races until elementary school. It was strange walking into class seeing “different” people, but teachers made it a priority to put us in groups and things like that to allow us to interact with one another. I now have white friends, Mexican friends, and Chinese friends. School really helped me be comfortable around other races. Without that opportunity, I could have possibly turned out to be racist.

The Media:

* Media has a profound impact on both children and adults. We sometimes seem to underestimate the impact the media has on our attitudes and behavior. Kids are watching television for nearly 28 hours per week and are being exposed to many different acts of violence.

* I never watched a whole lot of television as a kid, but now that I have nieces, I can definitely see the impact television has on kids. Although my nieces only watch cartoons, they’re still absorbing everything they see and hear. For example, my four year old niece was watching Sponge Bob and then all of a sudden she told me she was going to break my leg and put it on the grill. If Mr. Crab wouldn’t have said that to Sponge Bob, my niece would have never thought to say such a thing.

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