Why Is Socialization Important Around the Globe?
Sociolizatlou is the lifelong process of social interaction through which Individuals acquire a self identity and the physical, mental, and social skills needed for survival in society. It is the essential link between the individual and society. Socialization enables each of us to develop our human potential and to learn the ways of thinking. talking. and acting that are necessary for social living. Socialization is essential for the individual's survival and for human development. The many people who met the early material and social needs of each of us were central to our establishing our own identity. During the first three years of our life. we begin to develop both a unique identity and the ability to manipulate things and to walk. We acquire sophisticated cognitive tools for thinking and for analyzing a wide variety of situations, and we learn effective communication skills. In the process. we begin a relatively long socialization process that culminates in our integratiointo a complex social and cultural system (Garcia Coli. 1990).
Socialization is also essential for the survival and stability of society. Members of a society must be socialized to support and maintain the existing social structure. From a functionalist perspective. individual conformity to existing norms is not taken for granted rather. basic individual needs and desires must be balanced against the needs of the social structure. The socialization process is most effective when people conform to the norms of society because they believe that this is the best course of action. Socialization enables a society to "reproduce" it self by passing on its culture from one generation to the next. Although the techniques used to teach newcomers the beliefs. values, and rules of behavior are somewhat similar in many nations, the content of socialization differs greatly from society to society. How people walk. talk. eat. make love. and wage war are all functions of the culture in which they are raised. At the same time, we are also influenced by our exposure to subcultures of class, race, ethnicity, religion, and gender. In addition, each of us has unique experiences in our families and friendship groupings. The kind of human being that we become depends greatly on the particular society and social groups that surround is birth and during early childhood. What we believe about ourselves, our society. and the world does not spring full-blown from inside ourselves; rather. we earn these things from our interactions with others.