30 September 2010


The process of conditioning by which children learn to become responsible members of society through internalising norms and values within the society is called 'socialisation'.
According to Brinkerhoff and White (1995),Jay and Jary(1995) and Scott and Marshal(2005) concur to the term socialisation, as the process of learning the roles ,statuses and values necessary for effective participation in social institutions. Hence socialisation is the primary channel for the transmission of a way of life or culture overtime and generations.
It is actually a modification from infancy of individual behaviour to conform with the demands from society which involves both integration and differentiation of one individual from another. Zonden(1988)says that individuals are neutral at birth ,but also require ways of thinking ,feeling and acting through their social experience particulary during socialisation.
Agencies of socialisation are many ,but let view why the school is a primary or secondary agent of socialisation. Giddens (2004)puts agencies of socialisation as groups or social contexts in which significant process of socialisation occur.
Functionalists view socialisation as individuals become competence and conforming member of society and this benefits society as whole.
Marxist's conflict perspective ,also agreed that socialisation may be an effective tool of producing conformity,although this doesn't benefit society as a whole.
And Handel (2006)say symbolic interactionists doesn't perceive social as a passive process where chilldren simply learn what they are taught. Children are regarded as actively involved in creating and negotiating their own roles as self concept. Cooley (1902) quoted in Brinkerhof and white (1995) adds that children develop their self concept by viewing themselves as they think others view them and name this 'the looking glass self'. Then Cooley outlined three steps in the formation of looking glass self:
♦Imagine how one appears to others.
♦How others judge that appearance.
♦Develop feelings about it and responses to
these judgements.
According to Cooley ,therefore the judgement of others and one subjective interpretations are fundamental determinants of the self concept.
Mead cited in Brinkerhof and White (1995) argues that social norms are learnt via the process of role taking. Both role playing and role taking are responsive to the expectations of role models who may be parents ,siblings ,teachers or peers.
The school is seen as a key locus for children's development which takes over the role of socialisation from the family where the child is still at a very tender age taken to be of prime concern for learning and acquiring behaviour traits (Brinkerhill ,Hoppers and Pehrrson 1996).In other words Parsons (1959)describes the school as a focal socialising agency because it bridges the gap between the home and the society at large. In the school environment children become conditioned to conformity through both abstruct and formal rules. Children therefore become acustomed to dual forms of control as reflected in their textboks. And Brickhill ,Hoppers and Pehrrson (1996) concur the texbooks in both primary and secondary schools are flag fliers of culture as they reflect the needs of norms and values of its society. In contrasts Bowels and Gintins (1976) in Thio (1991) say that the school through its hidden curriculum socialises children to be subservient obidient only to be motivated by external rewards such as examination results. Moreso the children view inequality as legitimate.

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