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SOCIALIZATION THEORY

 Socialization theory begins with the functionalist assumption that there is a common core of norms and values shared by most of a society’s members. Of course, the image of a perfectly integrated culture whose norms and values are shared by all members of a society is just a model, a starting point for analysis. Socialization theorists recognize that this model imperfectly fits American society but consider it a useful reference ‘point for beginning analysis. Socialization theory maintains that social behavior, both deviant and conforming, is controlled mainly by internalized norms and values. Deviation is attributed to some disruption of the process of internalizing and expressing those values in one’s behavior.

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