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Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is the Family and Socialization?

Family Socialization begins a process through which humans learn and develop to be the adult persons they become.

The family is without doubt the most significant single agent of socialization in all societies. One reason for the importance of the family is that it has the main responsibility for socializing children in the crucial early years of life. The family is where children extent  their first close emotional ties, learning language, and begin to internalize cultural norms and values. To your children the family is all – encompassing. They have little social experience beyond its boundaries and therefore lack any bias were comparing and evaluating what is learned from family members. Each family therefore offers a unique experience to the children within it. In fact, the children within the same family had different experiences, for they have different set of older or younger brothers and sisters. There is considerable evidence that firstborn children get more attention and discipline the children born sub sequentially, and that this may affect their later personalities: first warns tend to do better in school and to be higher achievers later in life, while younger brothers and sisters tend to be more social and relaxed (Forer, 1976: Dunn and Kendrick, 1983).

A great deal of socialization that takes place in the family is deliberate, but much of it is quite unconscious. The patterns of social interaction within the family may provide unintended models for later behavioral and personality traits of the children when they grow to adulthood. For example, parents who abuse their children were often abused by their own parents and their own children, in turn, are more likely to become aggressive and abusive adults themselves (Huesmann and Eron, 1984). In this way, personality traits may be passed down over one or more generations.

Another reason for importance of the family is that it has specific location in the social structure. From the moment of birth children have and ascribed status in a subculture of race, class, ethnici, religion, and region – all of which may surely influence the nature of later social interaction and socialization. For example the values and expectations that children learn depend very much on the social class of their parents. Studies by Melvin Kohn (1963, 1976, 1977) show that working class and middle class parents research children in different ways. Working-class parents place greater value on conformity to traditional standards of behavior: they teach their children to obey the rules and stay out of trouble. These parents also tend to punish their children for the consequences of their misbehavior, and are more likely to use physical discipline. Middle-class parents, on the other hand, place greater value on curiosity and initiative: they teach their children to rely more on self-control on deciding how to behave. These parents punish children for the motives rather than the consequences of their misbehavior, and are more likely to reason with them and to use temporary withdrawal of privileges or love as a mean of discipline. As Kohn points out, the styles of parenting are related to the occupational experiences of the parents. Blue-collar jobs generally require that the worker follows exactly the instructions of the supervisor; white-collar jobs require more independence and initiative. Parents thus socialize their children for that part of the social world that they know best and in doing so, they help to reproduce the class system in the next generation. In part because of such influences, the social class background of a child's family is an excellent predictor of that child's later IQ, educational achievement, and ultimate social – class status.