1. Using your reading about Agents of Socialization, please list some important points about each agent of socialization:
2. Then state whether or not you think its true in your life. Why/why not?
Agents of socialization are groups that we are a part of that shape us significantly throughout our life. Often, the influence these groups have are taken-for-granted so we don't realize the significant impact they have on us; in this way I think of them as "secret agents" nudging us here or there.
Some significant finds regarding agents of socialization are:
Family - the first agent that has often the greatest impact on a person. Families intentionally teach skills, values and beliefs (manifest lessons), but they also can teach unintentional (latent) lessons. When I was growing up, besides teaching, I considered being a cop or working for the FBI. Both of these were jobs my parents did. It is funny that with so much opportunity in America, how often students pursue careers related to what their parents do. Is this true for you? How are you shaped by parents or friends? Check out this post about 7 things good parents do that screw up their kids. Humorous, but based on real research. One of the 7 things that I find really powerful is the way parents praise their kids. Telling your kid "you are so smart" is actually harmful to their learning. See more about why in this post about Carolyn Dweck's book, Mindset; the New Psychology of Success.
School - also teaches both manifest lessons like reading and writing and latent lessons like patriotism, consumption and obedience. Obedience is illustrated in Beavis vs. Barbie. Consumption in schools is illustrated by Murray J. Milner.
Friends/Peer Groups - Starts esp. because of school and cohort groups, becomes significant by adolescence, possibly more intense and more influential than family. Adolescents spend more time with each other than with parents or anyone else. This leads to adolescent subculture.
Religion - important even if you are not religiously involved yourself.
Day Care - significant findings that there is less of a bond with mothers if child attends daycare, but daycare kids develop more language skills.
Sports Teaches things like hard work, achievement, teamwork and competitiveness.
Work Work affects adults so much that it becomes a part of their identity. For example, "What do you do?" Is a popular greeting when you meet someone new. When adults retire, they often have trouble adjusting to a new life without work because there is a loss in identity.
98% of American homes have TV (that’s more than have phones 94%)
- the average American household has at least one set turned on for 7 hours per day.
-the average American child watches 20,000 commercials per year.
- TV watching is a routine that children learn before learning to read.
- many children spend as much time watching TV as they do interacting with parents.
- Sex, violence and wealth are more prevalent in mass media than in real life.
- Minorities watch 40% more TV than those in the majority, but they are not involved in the shows.
42% of children under 8 years old have a television in their bedroom.
Half (52%) of all 0- to 8-year-olds have access to a new mobile device, such as a smartphone, video iPod, or iPad/tablet.
than a third (38%) of children this age have used one of these devices,
including 10% of 0-to 1-year-olds, 39% of 2- to 4-year-olds, and more
than half (52%) of 5- to 8-year-olds.
In a typical day, one in 10
(11%) 0- to 8-year-olds uses a smartphone, video iPod, iPad, or similar
device to play games, watch videos, or use other apps. Those who do such
activities spend an average of 43 minutes a day doing so.
Checkout how much the big media companies own; you can download a chart here. This allows them to cross-market and create a sense that their shows/products are important. Another resource on media ownership is from the Columbia Journalism Review. Checkout how much Disney owns, but then you can see what other media conglomerates own. Merchants of Cool, though a little older, highlights the media's impact on teens.
To highlight how much the media influences us we are watching Consuming Kids. Click here to WATCH ON MEDIACAST.