Socialization- Meaning, Characteristics, Types and Nature


Socialization- Its Meaning

Socialization is a process with the help of which a living organism is changed into a social being. It is a process through which the younger generation learns the adult role which it has to play subsequently. It is a continuous process in the life of an individual and it continues from generation to generation.

The newborn is merely an organism. Socialization makes him responsive to the society. The process of socialization is endless. It prepares him to fit in the group and to perform the social roles. It enables the man to adjust himself to the new social order.


Socialization stands for the development of the human brain, body, attitude, behavior and so forth. the term socialization refers to the process of interaction through which the growing individual learns the habits, attitudes, values and beliefs of the social group into which he has been born.

From the point of view of society. socialization is the way through which society transmits its culture from generation to generations and maintains itself. From the point of view of the individual, socialization is the process by which the individual learns social behavior, develops his ‘self’. thus, we may conclude that socialization is a comprehensive process.

Characteristics of Socialization

1. It is a life-long process.

2. It helps in inculcation of principles, values and symbols of a social system.

3. Socialization enables the person to enact certain roles.

4. The development of social nature enables the person to participate in social life.

5. It helps to control human behavior.

Types of Socialization

Socialization may be grouped into two broad heads:-

1. Primary Socialization 

and 2. Secondary Socialization

Inculcation of norms and values within the family is called primary socialization. On the other hand, the process of imbibing norms, values, behavior patterns of school maybe called as secondary socialization. 

Primary Socialization starts in infancy and childhood. This is considered to be the most important stage of Socialization as the child learns the basic rules of conduct at this stage. Generally, secondary socialization starts at childhood and carries until maturity. However, the process of Socialization never stops in life. It is a life-long process.

Socialization- Its Nature

Inculcates basic discipline-

Socialization inculcates basic discipline. A person learns to control his impulses. He may show a disciplined behavior to gain social approval. 

Helps to control human behavior-

It helps to control human behavior. An individual from birth to death undergoes training and his  behavior is controlled by numerous ways. In order to maintain the social order, there are definite procedures or mechanisms in society. These procedures become part of the man’s life and man gets adjusted to the society. Through socialization, society intends to control the behavior of its members unconsciously.

Socialization is rapid if there is more humanity among the agencies of socialization-

Socialization takes place rapidly if the agencies of socialization are more unanimous in their ideas and skills. When there is conflict between the ideas, examples and skills transmitted in home and those transmitted by school or peer, socialization of individual tends to be slower and ineffective.

Socialization takes place formally and informally-

Formal socialization takes place through direct instruction and education in schools and colleges. family is, however, the primary and the most influential source of education. Children learn their language, customs, norms and values in the family.

Socialization is a continuous process-

Socialization is a life-long process. It does not cease when a child becomes an adult. As Socialization does not cease when a child becomes an adult, internalization  of culture continues from generation to generation. Society perpetuates itself through the internalization of culture. His members transmit culture to the next generation and society continues to exists. 

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