The Agent of Socialization. What is Its Role in a Person’s Life?
Human socialization occurs within the framework of similar social systems; therefore, it is possible to talk about the uniformity of motives and values that are formed in these systems. The main agents of human socialization are heredity, family, school, street, television and the Internet, books, public organizations, type of social system, and type of civilization.
The definition of a socialization agent is the social and natural determinants of socialization and personality development due to the living in large social communities. A person experiences a positive pressure in the process of interaction with society. Compliance with standards of conduct, specific rules, the appropriation of public values, following the principles and other requirements are in conflict with the needs of the individual.
Every human, as a member of society, on the one hand, tends to be a part of it, to be attached to one or another social group. On the other hand, the person maintains a desire for independence, freedom, and self-development. The society offers a set of ready-made statuses and roles that a person has the opportunity to realize throughout life to achieving a dialectical balance. One of the characteristics is the individual’s belonging to certain types, the fulfillment of specific social roles. The ratio of socialization agents in the history of humanity and the individual is different. The foundations of worldview, morality, and aesthetics are laid in the family, and school, primary roles, skills, traditions are acquired. School, institute, and the mass media form a variety of knowledge. Professional, civil, parental roles are generated at work, on the street, in the army.
According to T. Parsons, the role of these factors in human socialization is based on several need-cognitive-evaluative mechanisms. Reinforcement appears to be a process connecting a need and its satisfaction when the latter strengthens the standard of behavior. Repression occurs from the ability to distract from one need for another. Substitution is the process of moving needs from one item to another. Imitation is the diversion of knowledge, skills, values from the consumption process and their independent consideration. Identification comes from the adoption of the benefits and roles of a given society on the basis of the mutual affection of the educator and foster.
Age, gender, degree of kinship have a decisive influence on socialization. In sociology, there are three levels and stages of socialization. The primary (up to 6 years), occurring mainly in the family, is based on preconscious programs. The secondary socialization (up to 23-25 years) is aimed at improving the consciousness that has arisen. The tertiary socialization is the socialization of an adult, educated, and a person with a profession.
One of the significant problems of socialization is the compatibility of different cultural values offered by different agents or systems of socialization (family, street, school). As a result of the difference in the statuses and roles of a person, a compromise between different traditions, norms, values, ideals is characteristic. It should be borne in mind that only in this case, the character and mentality of a person are stable.
Agents of socialization and their role in human life require the formation of universal values and norms, while at the same time affective neutrality to the situation. On the one hand, due to the diversity and complexity of life situations, a person should rely on generally accepted standards. On the other hand, the realization of values is possible with an affectively neutral assessment of the situation arising from the activities of other people and things.