Student Reader

Socialisation

Identify the agents of socialization. What is the role of schools in gender role socialization? How has technology (computer, cell phone, email, & TV) influenced the socialization process?

Powerful agents of socialization are family, friends, school, peers, mass media and technology, workplace, religion and government. These can overlap, such as home-schools or religious madrasas.

Gender roles are expectations based on somebody’s gender. School significantly impacts gender role socialization because it is a crowded, authoritative environment that can concentrate general attitudes. An extreme example of this is complete gender segregation, and/or specific uniforms based only on gender.

Technology can increase social cohesion because it in certains ways and circumstances it eliminates boundaries of geographical distance. Communication becomes easier. However, the communication can also be shallow, brief and lacking meaningful, relationship-building activity or even intent. Also, technology can disseminate the same media content to an entire society. This allows topics of conversation to be shared across nations or even the entire world. Television shows are top-down examples of this, where a small group spreads content to millions or billions. Self-published media, however, subverts this power structure and is a new paradigm in social interaction: somebody can become “internet famous” all across the world with the right avenue of communication, without top-down corporate advertising.

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