Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Agencies of Socialisation

Socialisation turns a child into a useful member of
society and gives him social maturity. Therefore, it is
of paramount importance to know as to who socialises
with the child. There are two sources of child’s
socialisation. The first includes those who have
authority over her, the second are those who are
similar to the child. The first category may include
parents, teachers, elderly persons and the state. The
second one includes peer groups, friends and fellows
in the club. Briefly the main agencies of socialization
are the following.
Primary Agencies
i) The Family
The parents or family constitute the first agency for
the socialisation of the child. They are not only closely
related to the child but physically also they are nearer
to him than others. From the parents children learn
language. They are taught societal morality. They
start respecting persons in authority. In the family a
child learns a number of civic virtues. The family
therefore, is rightly called “the cradle of social
virtues”. A child gets her first lesson in cooperation,
tolerance, self sacrifice, love and affection in the
family. The environment of a family influences almost
all aspects of growth of a child.
ii) Neighbourhood
The neighbourhood is the second important agency of
socialisation. Good neighbourhood can make a child to
grow as a positive person and responsible citizen.
iii) Peer Group or the Play Mates
The peer group and friends also constitute an important
agency of socialisation. The relationship between the
child and her playmates is one of equality. As stated
above, the child acquires co-operative morality and
some of the informal aspects of culture like fashion,
fads, crazes, modes of gratification and forbidden
knowledge. The knowledge of these things is necessary
from the social point of view.
118 Introduction to Social Work
iv) The School
The school is also a very important agency of
socialisation. In the school the child gets education
which moulds the ideas and attitudes. Proper or
adequate education can make the child a good citizen,
while a bad education can turn him into a criminal.
Education is of great importance for the process of
socialisation. A well planned system of education can
produce competent people.
Secondary Agencies of Socialization
All the above mentioned agencies are known as primary
agencies of socialisation. There are few other agencies
of socialisation which are known as secondary agencies
of socialisation, They include
i) Religion
Religion has been an important factor in society. In
the early history of societies religion provided a bond
of unity. Though in modern society the importance of
religion has diminished, yet it continues to mould our
beliefs and ways of life. The child sees his parents
going to the temple and performing religious
ceremonies, and listens to religious sermons which
may determine the course of life and shaped his
ideas.
ii) The State
The state is an authoritarian agency of socialisation.
It makes law for the people and lays down the modes
of conduct expected of them. The people have
compulsorily to obey these laws. If they fail to adjust
their behaviour in accordance with the law of the
state, they may be punished for such failures. Thus
the state also moulds a person’s behaviour and

personality.