What is socialization?

What Does Socialization Mean

We explain what socialization is and what are the socialization agents. Also, what is tertiary socialization?

Socialization accompanies a person in all stages of development.

What is socialization?

The concept of socialization or sociabilization consists of the process by which individuals welcome the sociocultural elements of the social context in which they find themselves through interrelation with the rest of the individuals, in such a way that the concepts about reality are internalized in their personality during the development of the social adaptability process.


In other words, it is by relating to other people that the individual acquires the perspectives , guidelines, norms and cultural values of a given society and at a particular historical moment.

Socialization accompanies a person in all stages of development , however it is essential in the period of infancy and childhood. Through this it is that the social forms that are considered "correct" about how to behave before other human beings are known .

It is part of this, as awareness, the assumption of social structures in which it participates and in which it acts, incorporating for itself the differentiation between acceptable (positive) behaviors or values and the values that are considered unacceptable (negative) in a given society.

It is worth clarifying that this process is not exclusive to the different periods of development of human life , but is also perceptible in certain social changes that a person may undergo during their social life, such as the cross-cultural change that the passage means from one cultural circle (nation, social group, estate, etc.) to another, this implies a process of re-socialization.

See also: Social awareness

Socialization agents

In primary socialization, the child learns to relate to his family.

Socializing agents are elements that intervene in socialization . They can be individuals or institutions that have great influence on the person and their social behavior, and are also through which the individual will develop their social activity.

In this way, two types of socialization can be distinguished:

  • Primary socialization. That which the individual receives during the first years of life, in his childhood and childhood when relating to his family , this is fundamental both for good personal and mental development, as well as for his social development and the incorporation of social guidelines as it will be defined your identity . Then, after this stage, secondary socialization begins.
  • Secondary socialization. It has the purpose of giving the individual a different vision of reality, in which it is no longer the vision of their peers or relatives that has the preeminence but rather that of various socializing agents that broadens their knowledge , it is the relationships with people beyond the family bond. This begins when the childhood or infancy of the individual is finished, friends, teachers , are examples of the socializing agents of this stage that will develop for a period longer than the primary one.

Is there a tertiary socialization?

Tertiary socialization would apply to people considered dangerous.

On the other hand, there is the current discussion about the name of a socialization that we could call tertiary or "resocialization" process. This would be a kind of social reintegration process that is applied in cases in which people have suffered a deviation from the norm or have shown behaviors known as “socially dangerous” or criminal.

Its objective is to readapt the behavior of those who have transgressed the norm , and this is achieved with the intervention of professionals who are the implicit socializing agents in this tertiary type of socialization. In this case it is the body of certified specialists such as psychiatrists, social educators, doctors or psychologists. It is common for this socialization to take place within the institutions in charge, such as reformatories or prisons.

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