“the Peer Group Is the Most Effective Agency of Socialisation.” Evaluate the Arguments for and Against This Claim

477 Words2 Pages
Increasingly as children in modern society are becoming more rebellious and independent and construct their own individual identities, many people argue that the peer they socialise with have the greatest effect on their behaviour. This idea is debateable however, as there are other institutions like the media or the family that are key in instilling norms and values of society. The ways in which peer groups socialise a person into his/her gender identity are many. Through peer group pressure along with positive and negative sanctions, it is inevitable that a young person will conform to their group’s norms and values. Firstly, the ideas of being isolated from a friendship group is a daunting vision for many youngsters, and are thus willing to adopt the groups norms and values if it means they will acquire popularity or just to be part of a group. The peer group is a secondary agent of socialisation which means they develop and further reinforce the learning one was once subjected to in early childhood. A peer group that holds good values, like hard work may encourage its members into positive things, yet one that has detrimental values may lead to deviant behaviour. In spite of this influence, some may argue that the media in today’s media saturated world has become the most influential agent of socialisation. Stereotypes related to gender are regularly portrayed in the media. Women are shown to be sexually desirable and attractive to men whilst men are often portrayed as powerful, strong and intelligent. These stereotypes puts pressure on males and females to conform and we are constantly shown what would happen if we did not conform to them. This is done through a process of scapegoating. The media will illustrate what types of behaviour are considered deviant. Programmes like 16 and pregnant go against the common understanding of girls being modest
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