The Evidence that Socialisation Plays a Major Part in Shaping Human Behaviour

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The Evidence that Socialisation Plays a Major Part in Shaping Human Behaviour

Socialisation is the lifelong process by which human behaviour is shaped through experience in social institutions (e.g. family, which is a crucial factor in primary socialisation). Through socialization, individuals learn the values, norms (formal and informal rules), and beliefs of a given society.

In considering the nature of the self, it is necessary to include a still more fundamental social scientific issue – the extent to which human beings are being formed by biological inheritance (i.e. genetic determinism), or through socialisation (i.e. cultural determinism); the issue called nature-nurture debate. Another
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Usually, those factors are the family, peer groups, of close friends and closely-knit groups of neighbours. Within these groups, through personal experience, the individual learns ‘primary values’ such as love, loyalty, justice, sharing, and etc. Freud claimed that the first few years of a person’s life – those usually spent amongst primary groups – are the most important in forming the structure of the person’s character.

In contrast, secondary groups are usually large, more impersonal and formally organised, and exist for specific purposes. In the secondary stage, the individual learns by himself or herself more values and norms which are to be applied for the individual to fit in. This includes learning how to organise and conduct oneself in formal contexts (backgrounds) and how to behave towards people who have different degrees of status and authority. One of the crucial agents of secondary socialisation is school. Trade unions and professional associations, also secondary socialisation agents, can affect an individual’s behaviour when an individual agrees to conform to the beliefs, aims and regulations of the organisation. Therefore, indirectly, the individual accepts a socialising influence on his or her conduct.

In both primary and secondary groups, the mass media (e.g. radio, television, the cinema) also plays a
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