Social Studies Lesson: Agencies/Agent of Socialization

in Steem Kids & Parents2 months ago (edited)


Agencies/Agent of Socialization

Agencies/agents of socialization are the means or institutions through which an individual is being refined morally and religiously towards becoming a good citizen or socially acceptable.

They include:
(i) Home or family: Father, mother, brothers, sisters, and otherrelations.
(ii) School: Principal, teachers, students, supervisors or inspectors, etc.
(iii) Peer group: Members socialize one another.
(iv) Mass Media:
(a) Print Media: Print Media
Books, novels, newspapers,
Magazines, Comics, etc
(b) Non-Print Media: Radio, Television, Video Films, Cinema
(V) Religious Institutions:
(a) Churches: Pastors, priests, bishops, archbishops, members, etc.
(b)Mosques Imams, Chief Imams, Leamed Mallams, members, etc.
(Vi) Clubs: Executive members and other members; social gatherings,

In this lesson, I will discuss both the agencies and agents of socialization together as agents of socialization because they go hand-in-hand; none operates in isolation. Before the discussion, below are the factors necessary for socialization to take place,

The Agencies of Socialization: The place or where socialization takes place.

The Agents of Socialization:
(i) That is the individual or persons or things that socialize the individual.
(ii) The individual that is to be socialized.
(iii) The culture in which the individual is to be socialized; that is, those things the person being socialized must learn.
(iv) The socialization process: The interaction between the agents and the individual being socialized.


Various Agents Of Socialization

The Home or Family: The family
is the first agent of primary socialization. As the principal socializing agency of the child, the family is very important. In the home or family, the child is taught the first things he or she needs to know. Things like morals, good attitudes, acceptable behaviours, religious beliefs, language, ways of greetings of his people, how to sweep, wash plates and run errands, as well as how to interact with other members of the society are learnt by children from the family. They are either taught directly or they learn through observation and imitation at home. For example, a child who does not say greetings or who does things the negative way may be rebuked by way of scolding; and this helps the child to learn the positive way.
The socializing agents in the family are mothers, the first agent of socialization of the child and father, siblings, and other relations.

Source A mother instilling values in her child, a way of socialization

The School: The school is another important agency of socialization of the child. Children learn skills, knowledge, good morals, how to make good use of leisure time, how to interact with other students and staff from different parts of the country, how to solve the problems of life, new ways of doing things and new
forms of discipline. The socializing agents in the school include the principal or headmaster, teachers, students, and other workers in the school, e.g., laboratory attendants, etc. Through the above- mentioned agents in the school, children are socialized and made to live a life worthy of emulation after school. For example, a student who is always punctual to school during his school days is likely to carry over this habit to his world of work.

Source A teacher teaching in the class, an important agency of socialization

Peer Group: The peer group is a group of friends who are close to one another. They are usually two to three or more in number and always move together and of about the same age. They do things together, interact and co-operate with one another. Members learn from fellow members. They socialize one another. The socializing agents in a peer group are members they usually have common interests and like to be identified with their group. For instance, if the members of a peer group are interested in reading their books, helping their parents in doing house chores, etc., such a peer group is a good one. But those peer groups that are interested in stealing, going after boys or girls immorally are bad ones. We should be careful in selecting or choosing a peer group. We should not join the bad peer groups. But if unkowingly we happen to find ourselves in one, we must try to correct them or make them change from their negative behaviour. If they refuse to change, we quit the group for a better one. We should try to always do the right thing in any peer group we belong to.

Mass Media: Mass Media are of two categories, namely: (i) Print Media, and (ii) Non-Print Media.
Mass media are becoming more and more important as socializing agents in our country, Nigeria, today. They affect the knowledge, attitude, and behaviour of individuals.
Print-Media includes newspapers, magazines, books, and novels. Non-print media include radio, television, cinema, etc.

The above media are seen in our schools and homes. Children read books, newspapers, novels, and magazines, as well as watch films (home video), listen to radio, etc. All these socialize us. Children learn both good and bad morals from these media. We should not watch films or television programmes that teach us bad morals. For instance, most home video films are not meant for children. Instead of watching such films, they should listen and watch school debates, Kiddies' Time, etc. These will socialize them in the right direction.

The Church: The Church is another important agent of socialization. In the Church, the socializing agents are the religious leaders and members, depending on the denomination. The leader serves and socialize the members to imbibe good morals. Members are taught the doctrines of different denominations. It is a good agency of change. Members also socialize one another as they interact.

Other social organizations apart from the Church, there are other organizations, like Boys Scout and Girls Guide, that may teach children how to work very hard and work in a team. Also, there are clubs and other associations in our society that help our people who are members to develop into responsible and patriotic citizens of their country.



  1. Socialization agents enable children and adults to learn socially approved and acceptable behaviour. Through socialization, an individual is helped to learn how to behave in a socially acceptable manner.
  2. Socialization agents help to bring up a child for future development.
  3. Socialization agents help us to drop the negative behaviours considered inimical to the functioning and survival of society.
  4. Through socialization, rules and sanctions are established without which society may destroy itself.
  5. Socialization promotes the spirit of co-operation and interdependence among people.
  6. Through socialization agents, tolerance, mutual understanding, discipline, integrity, contentment, sense of responsibility, good sense of judgment, knowledge of basic rights and responsibilities, good morals, good conduct are inculcated in our people.
  7. Through socialization agents, positive sexual interaction and reproduction habits are encouraged; and this ensures the continued existence of our communities.
  8. Socialization agents teach us basic skills, occupations, and social roles, which enable us to survive in our society.
  9. Socialization helps children and adults to share views, ideas, and problems as members of a society.

On the side of the effects, individuals who are not properly socialized, those who mingle and associate with evil people, are negatively socialized. They exhibit bad behaviour or indulge in negative activities such as stealing, lying or dishonesty, disrespect to elders, thuggery, cultism, robbery, defrauding people etc. Such people need re-socialization to make the society better. We should not let ourselves be involved in these evil practices. And we can only do this by making sure that we fulfil our roles during socialization as stated earlier in this unit, to enable us and the society benefit from the socialization exercise, and to make ourselves and the society better.


Revision Exercises

  1. Is agencies and agent of socialization the same? Give explanation to differentiate the two.
  2. List and explain the various agencies of socialization.
  3. State the effects of socialization.


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