Learning Outcomes
At the end of this chapter you will be able to do the following.
Define socialization.
Compare nature and nurture as socialization influences.
Identify agents and agencies of socialization.
Evaluate the study of cases of feral children in terms of their importance to our
knowledge of socialization.
Recall and define the steps in determining a self-concept.
Evaluate Dramaturgy for its application to every day life.

Socialization is the process by which people learn characteristics of their group’s norms,
values, attitudes, and behaviors. Through socialization we learn the culture of the society
into which we have been born. In the course of this process, a personality develops. A
personality is comprised of patterns of behavior and ways of thinking and feeling that are
distinctive for each individual.
Babies are not born with the social or
emotional tools needed to contribute to
society as properly functioning social actors.
They have to learn all the nuances of proper
behavior, how to meet expectations for what
is expected of them, and everything else
needed to become members of society. As
newborns interact with family and friends
they learn the expectations of their society
(family, community, state, and nation).
From the first moments of life, children begin a process of socialization wherein parents,
family, and friends establish an infant’s social construction of reality, or what people
define as real because of their background assumptions and life experiences with others. An
average U.S. child’s social construction of reality includes knowledge that he or she belongs,
and can depend on others to meet his or her needs. It also includes the privileges and
obligations that accompany membership in his or her family and community. In a typical
set of social circumstances, children grow up through a predictable set of life stages:
infancy, preschool, K-12 school years, young adulthood, adulthood, middle...