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Stages of Socialization B.Ed Notes | Meaning and definitions of Socialization

Meaning and definitions of Socialization

Socialization is the social process by which the individual develops social qualities and becomes a social being. Through this process, an individual learns social qualities through different means of living between society and culture. Hence, it is also known as learning process.

It is through the process of socialization that an individual learns and imitates and imitates the rules, norms and practices of society. As the child grows up after birth, the child learns the social character and from the biological being becomes a social being. It is through a long process of this social learning and experience that a person is able to imbibe many social traits about personality. This social process of change and transmission is called socialization.

This process of socialisation has been defined by various scholars from their respective points of view.

Definitions offered by some of the leading scholars are following :

(1) Prof. Green has defined socialization as "socialization is the process by which the child acquires cultural characteristics, spirit and personality."

(2) According to gillin & gillin, "socialization means the process by which the individual becomes an active member of the group, synthesize the group's activities, takes care of its traditions, and adapts to social situations to develop a sense of tolerance for his fellowmen."

(3) In the words of kimball young,

Socialization is the process of introducing a person to the social and cultural world, making him a co - operating member in the society and its diverse groups, and encouraging him to accept the ideals, rules and values of that society.


Socialization is a life long process. Through his process a neonate develops into a social being. Let us now see how this process takes place at different stages of development of individual.

(1) Socialization in Infancy:

The child just after birth comes in contact with the mother. He starts recognizing her and slowly starts smiling on seeing her. If she is not with him he misses her.

Then he gets acquainted with other women among whom may be his nurse or grandmother and starts responding to them.

When he comes in contact with his father he starts recognizing him.

All these recognitions take place within a few weeks after his birth.

As he grows old other people come in his contact and he starts responding to them by a smile or by crying or raising his hands or feet.

In the socialization of the children breast feeding is very important.

The mother's milk is not only good for nourishment but also provide safety and love to the child.

When the child is close to the breast of the mother he feels her love which in future affects the development of his personality.

When the child is nearly ten months old his toilet training begins which continues till he is of eighteen months.

The child learns the use of toilets, etc. slowly as he advances in age.

In case, there is shown over-affection to the child by the parents then in him the dependency behaviour develops.

Dependency is also as aspect of Socialization. No one is completely independent in this world. Everyone is dependent on others in one way or another. The infant learns this in the very beginning of his life.

The infant learns to speak a few words by the process of imitation.

The Mother and other person in his social environment teach him to say, "Mama', "Baba', "Papa', etc Slowly the child starts associating these words with the person to whom they apply.

At about the age of one and half years the infant starts taking interest in other children.

After one year he starts adopting the behaviour of cooperation, shame, jealousy etc. He shows shyness when strangers come in front of him.

He also shows jealousy whenever her mother shows affection to someone else.

He also depicts attraction towards other infants.

At about the age of two years he shows anger and annoyance, etc. He also show obstinacy.

(2) Socialization in Early Childhood : 

The period of 2 to 6 years is very important in the socialization of an individual.

Now the child comes in contact with different members of the society.

If they attend nursery or kindergarten school then they come in contact with other children and teachers. In the beginning the child plays with his toys all alone.

At the age of three or four years he starts playing with other children. The boys and girls play together and there is no sexual discrimination at this age.

The child becomes very obstinate at about the age of 4 or 5 years.

He shows temper tantrums and becomes aggressive.

He runs out of the home, quarrels with his siblings, annoys others and develops a tendency to do exactly opposite to that which he is asked to do. We call it as negative behaviour. But, he also has the tendency to work cooperatively.

He wants social approval. Child develops friendships and cares for the others cooperation.

At this stage also the feeling of dependency continues. But at times he acts contrary to the wishes of his parent

(3) Socialization in Late Childhood :

This stage is from 6 years to 11-12 years.

At this stage the children learn the laws and codes of the society.

The number of his friends increases and he becomes interested in team games.

Now, the boys start preferring the company of boys and girls of girls. The boys and girls learn their sex specific roles. If a boy behaves like a girl he is called 'sissy' or 'girlie', etc. Similarly if a girl acts like a boy she is called 'tom boy' etc., all in fun.

There is rapid language development at this stage which enables the child to exchange his ideas with others.

The children love to go on picnic or excursion.

They make their own groups or gang together and develop strong affiliations to their group or gang.

There also develop rivalries and competitions between different gangs and groups and often there are gang wars or group clashes.

In friendly games they show much competitiveness. They make all out effort to vin or achieve higher than their rivals.

The children seek the approval of their parents and other family members.

They become firm believers in the norms of their society and become very much conscious of their responsibilities.

(4) Socialisation in Adolescence:

This is the period between the ages of 12 years to 18-19 years.

In the beginning of this period there occur many physical changes in the adolescents which lead to changes in their behaviour pattern.

They start feeling awkward before the other members of the society because of the changes in their physical make up.

The boys starts getting taller day by day. Their voice becomes hoarse and heavy. The hair grow on their chin and cheeks and the semen formation starts.

Among the girls the bodily changes lead to heavy buttocks. The breasts develop and the hairs appear in the armpits and thighs, etc. Because of these bodily changes the boys and girls feel shy of meeting with each other.

In the early stage of adolescent period these changes develop anti-social behaviour.

The adolescent feels that the norms of the society are for repressing him and so he starts taking interest in opposing them

It may be noted that while in the period of childhood the child tries to strictly follow the norms and the codes of the society at about the age of 12-13 years the adolescent challenges them. But, as the adolescent moves towards maturity there is once again shown conformity behaviour.

The friendships at the adolescent stage are quite deep-rooted and they last for whole of the life time of the individual.

The peer group exercises very powerful influence upon the adolescent.

The adolescent gives greater importance to the opinions of his friends and peers as compared to his parents and relations.

In the adolescent period attractions to the opposite sex are aroused.

The boys are attracted towards girls and girls towards boys. The love affairs between boys and girls also become common. But in most cases the adolescent love to the opposite sex is of transitory nature.

As the adolescent boys and girls become mature there also develops maturity in the love relationships.

Early love affairs may be in the form of crushes but later on if love affairs continues then they become enduring.

The adolescent loves to do social service. He wishes to be an agent of desirable social changes and if he gets good guidance then he becomes a good social worker. But, if he falls in the group of bad leaders then he becomes involved in anti-social behaviour and in destructive activities.

In our country because of lack of opportunities mixing of adolescent boys and girls there develops a tendency of eve teasing among the boys.

(5) Adulthood :

This period extends from 20 years to about 55 years. It may further be classified into two periods of young adulthood which is between 20 and 35 years and the middle adulthood which is after 35 years.

At the adult age the individual marries, raises the family, takes up some vocation so that he can meet the needs of the family.

He also adjusts himself to the society and tries to lead a socially approved pattern of life

At middle adulthood the individual provides guidance to the new generation. He brings changes in his behaviour in accordance with the growing needs of his family.

It may be said that in the adulthood stage the main emphasis of the individual is on his adjustment to his family and society

(6) Old Age :

This stage may be considered after 55 years of age.

At this stage the individual becomes concerned with his retired life.

He starts thinking of the time when he will be no more active in his professional as well as domestic life.

Ideas of death also cross his mind and he starts analysing what were his achievements and failures in life.

The main problem of old age is isolation. His or her children are by now settled in life and separated and the person who was at the helm of affairs in his family is now totally marginalised. Because of breaking of joint family system in our country the problem of old age has become acute.

The life span of Indians have increased much more now.

The number of persons who fall in the stage of old age is growing day by day and so also are growing the problem of their health, shelter and nourishment.

The young generation has its own problem and so is not able to pay much attention to the aged parents or relatives.

The government and welfare agencies do not have well organised machinery to care for the old and so the neglect of the Indian elders is becoming a very serious problem.