Agents of Socialization: Peer Groups
The socialization process of someone starts when they are infants and continues to evolve and change throughout their life. Every social experience one has makes an impact on that person’s life in some sort of way. Before entering school, a child is usually taught and has developed much of their socialization skills by family. Upon entering school, children will come in contact with and most likely become involved in some type of peer group. A peer group is a social group whose members have interests, social position, and age in common.
Now children may enjoy communicating with their peers more then the family due to common interests. Children can talk to peers about particular topics not discussed at home with family members. For example, children talk about their favorite music or clothes and even drugs or sex as they grow older.
A big distance between children and their parents typically takes place through adolescence. A child may want to do what their peers are doing and the parents object to the child decisions. This causes a lot of friction in the relationship between the parents and the child. Peers may influence others on certain interests, for example, music, clothes, and television shows. However, parents have a greater influence on long-term goals, such as, work or college.
Peer groups in school have an influence on other groups. Children may think their group is smarter or better then others. As a result, many groups are put down or bullied by other peer groups. Being put down and teased throughout school may have a great influence on a child’s self esteem and behavior throughout the rest of their life.
After reading this section in the textbook, I thought back to my days in elementary and high school. I can relate to it all. Growing up and going to school is a huge part of socialization. May it be good or bad, there are numerous things learned throughout the school years. For example, if...