socialisation and culture: inter-relationship

“I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.”-  Charles Horton Cooley


Socialization is the process by which we learn to adapt to the culture of others in order to create our own selves.

Human babies are born without a sense of culture. When a newborn is born, he is socialised so that he can develop a culture based on what his parents and environment have taught him.

Knowing another person’s culture and learning how to live within it is the process of socialisation. When we talk about culture, we’re referring to a society’s entire set of moral conventions, values, language, attitudes, and other characteristics. We all have societal tasks to fulfil, and socialising assists us in acquiring the information and skills necessary to fulfil these roles.

In diverse cultures, socialisation is a crucial component of the process of personality formation in every individual. Although genetics is responsible for the development of human personality, socialisation is the process by which this personality is shaped to specific directions by adopting or rejecting beliefs, attitudes, and cultural standards in distinct cultures. We tend to have diverse personalities as a result of socialisation dynamics, even though we live in the same culture.


Culture is the set of shared beliefs, attitudes, and values among people of a particular cultural background. The process of conveying these beliefs, assumptions, and values from one generation to the next is known as socialisation.

We gain the wisdom of previous generations about all parts of life through the process of socialisation, whether it’s how to build a house, how to develop great relationships, or how to prepare the best noodle soup.

Without the process of socialization, culture wouldn’t exist.

Culture can only exist if ideas can be transmitted from one person to another. That can happen in a variety of ways, including watching television, observing other people’s behaviour, and paying attention to your teacher.

Everyone would practically live in a vacuum if the process of socialisation did not exist. Everyone would be immersed in their own little universe. We rely on the information, ideas, knowledge, and beliefs of those in our immediate environment. And they have inherited that information from previous generations. Essentially, our society today is operating on all the wisdom that has been gathering throughout all of mankind’s history. And all of it is possible because of the process of socialization.


As part of the socio-ecological environment, the attitudes and practises that are endorsed within a society or community affect socialisation settings and parent-child and other social interactions. Although early versions of the idea regarded culture to be a distal effect in the outmost layer of the environment, more modern conceptualizations have combined culture with proximal socialisation influences such as the family and peer groups. This is mostly congruent with the socio-ecological approach in a developmental niche model.

According to a few sociologists, the “developmental niche” is made up of three interconnected subsystems: physical and social settings, historically constituted child care and child rearing customs and practises, and the psychology of the caregivers, particularly parental ethno theories shared within the community. The approach incorporates culturally dictated socialisation conditions, attitudes, and actions. The function of socialisation in the internalisation of cultural systems such as language and symbols is highlighted in sociocultural theory.

Vygotsky (1978) claims that broad socialisation experiences – participation in social and cultural practises – affect the processes of individual development in addition to direct collaborative or guided learning in which more experienced individuals act as representatives of the culture and assist children in understanding and solving problems. Changes in social practises are frequently accompanied by restructuring of mental systems and the production of new psychological functions as a result of changes in socio-cultural frameworks. Researchers in Africa, Asia, Central and South America who studied the effects of social and cultural transitions from traditional rural villages to communities with more complex and planned social activities found that youths who participated in formal education and urbanised activities might display new ways of thinking, which is consistent with the Vygotskian perspective. Individuals’ cognitive processes grew increasingly decontextualized and less limited by the specific elements of the environment as they participated in more social activities and formal school instruction in these societies. Chen and colleagues presented a contextual- developmental perspective that emphasises social interaction as a backdrop for human development, based on socio-ecological and socio-cultural theories.

This viewpoint suggests that from middle childhood onwards, parents and other socialisation agents, notably peers, evaluate and respond to children’s interactions in terms of culturally grounded social expectations and standards.  The judgments and responses of adults and peers during interactions, in turn, govern the development of behaviours. A primary factor of cultural effect on development is the appraisal and control processes that occur during social contact.

Several significant arguments expound on the core premise of the contextual-developmental approach. The major drive that directs youngsters to participate in conversations, pay attention to social evaluations, and change their behaviours is the need for social acceptability, intimate affect within social connections, and a sense of belonging.

Children’s attention to input from others is elicited by the social interaction setting, which promotes children’s knowledge of social expectations and standards, as well as inconsistencies between their behaviours and these expectations and standards.

Negative social assessments put pressure on children to change their behaviour, whereas social approbation tells them that their actions are acceptable. As children strive to preserve or adjust their behaviours or behavioural patterns in response to social evaluations, they engage in social interaction control.

Individual characteristics such as sensitivity to social expectations may facilitate or weaken group influence. Interpersonal or group activities such as the establishment and modification of group norms and acceptance-based social evaluations of children’s behaviours are the main mediators of links between culture and individual development.

Finally, as children’s socio-cognitive capacities grow, they become more involved in social processes by exhibiting their reactions to social influence and engaging in the construction of new cultures to guide social assessments and other interactions. As a result, social processes are transactional.


A variety of research programmes have found significant cross-cultural differences in attitudes, emotions, and actions among children and adolescents. In domains marked by social initiative and self-control, socialisation plays a critical role in mediating cultural influence on human development. Individual development patterns and results are influenced by cultural norms and values, which regulate social interaction processes in the family, peer group, and other socialisation environments.

We concentrated on culture and important socialisation variables, human development, and parenting in our endeavour. Other socialisation factors such as community services, school practises, and teacher-student relationships are likely to be associated with culture and, at the same time, exert a significant impact on children’s behaviours, despite the fact that they represent important proximal forces that directly affect child development. It would be crucial to look at the role of these components in mediating the impact of culture on child development.

It will also be fascinating to investigate how culture influences socialisation processes at macro-levels, such as laws affecting children, families, and schools, as well as the social and economic situations of the society or community and the mass media. Children, it has been asserted, take an active role in their own socialisation and development. Children’s choices of hobbies and playmates, as well as their reactions to socialisation influence, might demonstrate their active role. Furthermore, children can play an active role in socialisation by adopting current cultures and creating new cultures for social evaluations, particularly in peer group activities.

Despite the debate, little research on this topic has been done, particularly in non-Western nations. In cross-cultural study, researchers must pay close attention to the active engagement of children. Finally, comparisons between individuals in Western, self-oriented societies and those in collectivistic or group-oriented societies are frequently used in study on culture and human development.

Over the last few decades, tremendous increases in cross-border trade, political and economic integration, the development of new technologies, and large-scale population movements have resulted in significant cultural shifts in both Western and non-Western societies. Diverse value systems have merged and coexisted as a result of increased cultural exchanges and interactions.

Individualistic ideas, for example, have been transferred into many non-Western civilizations as a result of globalisation, and have influenced socialisation attitudes and practises in these societies. Western ideals, on the other hand, are unlikely to be fully accepted, but they may be incorporated with cultural traditions.


  1. C.N Shankar Rao Published By S. Chand (2018)

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