Chapter summary imageThe Process of Fitting into Society

What is socialization?

  • the lifelong process by which the norms, values, and other aspects of a culture are learned and internalized by group members and provides the individual with the skills necessary for participating in society

How do the four theoretical perspectives view socialization?

  • functionalism: institutions, such as religion and education, are useful in socializing individuals
  • conflict theory: an individual's social class can influence how she or he is socialized
  • symbolic interactionism: interactions between individuals and small groups teach us about our culture and give us a sense of identity
  • feminist theory: societies use gender socialization to teach members about the attitudes and behaviours that are appropriate for each sex

How does understanding socialization help us improve our society?

  • through social policies that are designed to correct recognized social problems