Socialization is the process by which a child learns how to do things like other human beings in the society. A child is helpless and dependent on other people around him for everything therefore, as he grows, through daily contact and interactions with other human beings he learns how to do things like others in the society.


  • Socialization is the training of the child in the culture or ways of life of his people or society.
  • Socialization is the process by which an individual acquires new behaviour through interactions and direct learning from other human beings.
  • It is a process by which a new member goes, through understanding the needs and practices of his community and adapts to them.
  • Socialization is a life-long process which begins from birth until death. The primary socialization begins at home where we learn the do’s and don’ts and culture of our society.


Agents of socialization

The agents of socialization are the means through which an individual acquire necessary values and morals towards becoming a good and socially acceptable citizen. These agents are;

  • Home/Family: father, mother, siblings
  • School: Principal, teachers, students etc.
  • Peer Group: Members socialize one another.
  • Mass-Media: Print and non-print media.
  • Print media: Newspapers, magazines, textbooks
  • Non-Print media: Radio, T.V, Video, Cinema etc.
  • Religious Institutions: Churches, mosques etc.
  • Clubs/Associations: Social gatherings.


Processes of socialization

Socialization is a continuing process that takes place either formally or informally. Sometimes it is planned and at other times it occurs naturally or unintendedly. The various ways through which socialization can take place are as follows.


Learning from model



Direct Learning                       Process of socialization                  Indirect Learning



Social Role Learning


  1. Direct Learning: This occurs when a child learns under a planned condition of teaching and learning either in the classroom or elsewhere here, the child learns from the activities of the agent.
  2. Indirect Learning: This is also called incidental learning, such learning may or may not be desired and it is a situation when people learn from things that are not planned as a result of their interaction with others.
  3. Learning from models: A child could learn through imitating people around him. Movie actors/actresses parents and peers can serve as models to them.
  4. Social Role Learning: An individual can learn from various roles responsibilities which he finds himself engaged with. For instance, a father can be pastor, chief, captain in a tennis club, husband, doctor etc. He learns various skills and value from all these tasks and responsibilities.


Importance of socialization

  1. Socialization helps children and adults to learn the dos and don’ts of the society. Through socialization, members of the society learn and do the things that desire.
  2. Through socialization, children learn respect in the society by learning and practicing what is desired by others. It also promotes the spirit of hard work in the people.
  3. Socialization helps to prepare new members of a society to behave in the manner of the society. It helps them acquire acceptable values, attitudes and behaviour to help them fit in properly as members of the society.
  4. Socialization promotes social interaction and peaceful living among the people of a society and it also prepares children on how to live and interact with people in an approved way.
  5. Socialization helps the people of a society to learn how to play their roles and be useful to themselves and the society where they belong.



  • What is socialization?
  • Describe the processes of socialization
  • List the agents of socialization


See also

national unity and integration




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