What Is Socialization?

What Is Socialization?

Socialization refers to our systematic training into the norms of our culture. Socialization is the process of learning the meanings and practices that enable us to make sense of and behave appropriately in that culture. Notice the massive depth of the iceberg under the water and how many aspects of socialization are below the surface—not consciously thought about; we just know when someone is “friendly,” or is “acting weird,” or has “poor hygiene.” We know because we have been socialized into the


norms of our culture, norms that regulate these aspects of social life, and if our friends have been socialized this way too, getting along is easy. Socialization begins at birth and continues throughout life. Indeed, the forces of socialization are gathering even before birth, when our families begin to project their hopes, dreams, and expectations onto our lives.

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