Running head: 1

August6, 2014.

Howsocial institutions, such as family, education, religion, government,socialize us

Everydaysocial interactions with members of the society provide individualswith continued process of internalizing social habits and skillsprevalent in the society. Participation in social institutions suchas government, churches, family and peers provides a means throughwhich individuals culturally and socially internalize the socialideologies, norms and customs. In most cases individuals attitudes,perception, ideologies, behaviors and habits are significantlyinfluenced by certain social influences, habits and other socialaspects from others(Henslin, 2012).

Socializationforms an important aspect of any society, and it is an ongoingactivity in which individuals get introduced to certain groups,oriented on the process of a particular activity. Everyday life ischaracterized by various forms of socialization individuals learnand internalize new values, ideas, knowledge, fads and behaviors asthey meet and interact with others (Hurrelmann,2009).Society forms an important influence on how people have and thinkindividuals’ social skills, habits and values are shaped by thesocietal values of the members (Henslin,2012).Although socialization is regarded as an important aspect ineducating the members of the society, not all individuals or socialaspects are internalized by individuals(Wentworth,1980).Learning is the essence of all forms of socialization this learningcan be nonsocial or social. Some aspects are learned throughindividuals’ curiosity, efforts or inquisitiveness (Macionisand Gerber, 2011).There exists a disparity in the process of internalization whereindividuals internalize particular values and ‘rebel’ to others.However, various social institutions play a critical role in theeveryday socialization of individuals.


Thefamily is the primary aspect of individual socialization right frominfant stage. In the family that children learn gender roles,community cultures, altitude early in life. In the early stages ofchildhood development young children continuously learn from theenvironment created by their parents as they interact on daily life.Children learn language, class and other attributes of their familiesas they interact with each family member. Later in life the familyinstitution provides individuals with an important environment whereother values such as community norms, beliefs, religion and educationare shared(Davies &amp Kandel, 1981).

Inaddition, the family institutions continuously socialize individualson matters related to career, relationship and marriage life.Therefore, the composition of a family institution has a greatinfluence on socializing individuals. Traditional families wereinclusive of extended family members like the grandparents, aunts anduncles who were a great source of socialization, but the institutionof the family has diminished and now exists in nuclear or single casefamilies. In this sense combined with abusy environment presented bythe modern life, the smaller family provides children with minimalsocialization. Modern life is characterized by single parentfamilies, and more children are receiving their primary care fromothers such as day care and pre-unit schools (Henslin,2012).Although the influence of the family is a major socializing agent,its influence is diminishing in the modern day life(Alwin, 1984).


Schoollife and education contributes to a large extent in the socializationprocess. At early age, young children are introduced to day care andpre-unit classes. In schools individual learn various social valuesand attitudes that in turn influence their innovation, conformity andcooperation. In addition, young children are introduced to the valuesof hard work, respect, neatness, punctuality and orderliness. Therelationship between children and adults is also nurtured byteachers. Education develops individual’s mind by imparting newideas, processes of carrying out certain activities andinnovativeness (Henslin,2012).

Adultslearn new ways of doing things or their behaviors are corrected whenthey participate in education forums and other institutions. In thesame line, schools and education provide individuals with manyreading materials written by other scholars this helps them tointernalize new ideas and values. Education helps to developindividuals thinking and application of knowledge in real lifeactivities. In schools and other education institutions individualsmeet others who influence them in one way or the other (Hurrelmann,2009). For instance, peers group develops in these institutions whereindividuals interact with their friends from different social,cultural and economic background. In this scenario, new values,habits, ideas and other aspects are internalized by individuals.


Thelegal system provides a framework of laws and regulations that guideindividuals in their daily life. At early age, small children aretaught how to respect certain laws and regulations within thecommunity, schools or in the larger society. Parents, education andteachers perform an important role in educating children on importantgovernment laws and regulations. As individuals grows up they learnand internalize values, ideas and regulations set by governmentauthorities. These values are learned from government offices,personnel, peers and through mass media. Government legalrequirements socialize individuals in various ways. For instance,government regulates business practices, traffic laws, environmentalpollution and how to maintain and live in peace in the society(White, 1977).

Legalsystems socialize all individuals to report and use legal means whenthey want to solve and address certain societal problems (Henslin,2012).In short, government and political systems enhance social coexistenceby providing a rationale on how people behave and relate with theiroutside environment. Adults are more active on issues that pertaingovernment activity individuals’ learn and acquire differentideologies, values and attitudes on the performance of thegovernment. The internalized values and ideologies learned fromgovernment activities in turn shape and influenced the individuals’behaviors or political orientation. In the same line, governmentsocializes individuals into certain economic ideas such as capitalism(Macionis and Gerber, 2011).


Religionhas a great impact on the socialization of individuals. Differentsocieties, communities and ethnic groups have different religiousorientations. Religions impart certain attitudes, values andideologies to people which in turn shape how people behave, relate orparticipate in social activities. Individuals who subscribe tocertain religions internalizes behavioral attitudes that shape theway their personality (Henslin,2012).In Christianity for instance, people are socialized to be humble,respectful, hardworking and having great faith in God these valuesin turn shape an individual’s character. Religion acts as a checkon one’s behaviors and thus continuously shapes individual’svalues, attitudes and ideologies(Wrong, 1961).


Theprocess of socialization is continuous and occurs in various areasand social institutions. The family forms an important aspect insocializing individuals on the basic values, attitudes, culture andother aspects expected by the community, family and the society ingeneral. It is the family institutions that contribute to personalitydevelopment from a young age and as individual transforms to adultlife. Education and School life form another important area whereindividuals are continuously introduced to new values, ideas andattitudes.

InSchool, individuals read and learn from others ideas and values thatinfluence them. In addition, Schools provide an avenue ofinteractions where people share and internalize values learned fromothers. Government regulations and laws also contribute significantlyto individual’s socialization people learn new rules andguidelines that help them in their daily activities. Religion alsoimparts important values and attitudes on individuals. In all cases,the different social institutions in the society continuouslysocialize individuals to new ideas, values and attitudes (Wentworth,1980).


Alwin,Duane F. 1984. Trends in Parental Socialization Values: Detroit,1958-1983.

AmericanJournal of Sociology90: 359-82.

Davies,Mark and Denise B. Kandel. 1981. Parental and Peer Influences on

Adolescents’Educational Plans: Some Further Evidence.American Journal of Sociology87:363-87.

HenslinM. James. (2012). Essentials of Sociology: A Down to earth Approach(11thEdition). New Jersey:Pearson Publishers.

Hurrelmann,Klaus (2009). Social Structure and Personality Development.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Macionis,John J., and Linda M. Gerber (2011). Sociology. Canada Toronto:Pearson press, pg 113

Wentworth,William M. 1980. Context and Understanding: An Inquiry intoSocialization

Theory.New York: Elsevier

Wrong,Dennis. 1961. “The Over-socialized Conception of Man in ModernSociology.”

AmericanSociological Review26:183-93.

White,Graham (1977). Socialization, London: Longman