Peers while the family may be the primary agent of

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Peers While the family may be the primary agent of socialization, a child’s peer group becomes increasingly important as a transmitter of social norms and values Through a system of observation and constant feedback from peers, children learn ideas about in-groups and out-groups, cultural norms, and gender-appropriate behavior “Gender police” Research has shown that negative experiences with peers can lead to a number of psychological problems such as anxiety and depression But positive experiences with peers can boost a child’s self-esteem and lead to a variety of positive outcomes The Media: play a vital role in socialization Critics point to the sexual and violent nature of movies, television, and music as a source of society’s problems What effect do the media have on youth? 1. Repeated media exposure can cause observational learning In essence, long-term exposure to the ideas promoted in the media can affect a child’s beliefs and behaviors 2. Children become increasingly desensitized to the violent and sexual images they see in the media 3. The persuasive content of the media becomes incorporated into the child’s consciousness without awareness This increasing concentration of the media in the hands of a few has several important consequences First, it results in an ideological monopoly, that is, newspapers, magazines, television, and radio offer little variety in perspective and editorial policy, ranging from centrist to moderately conservative Second, since the media conglomerates are profit-seeking organizations, they emphasize entertainment over news The messages the public receives are consistent We are bombarded with materialism and consumerism With what it takes to be a success With sex, violence, and the value of law and order In short, the media have tremendous power to influence us all Socialization in a Changing Social Landscape Intro Modal personality: the members of a society will be similar in many fundamental respects Homogenous (society): the individual members of society are provided with a consistent message Heterogenous (society): individuals are confronted with a number of contradictory themes and expectations Changing family forms We have said that the family is the ultimate societal agency for socialization, but families differ in a variety of important ways The family may have little influence on the child if the parents disagree on politics, religion, and/or values Or, if they are consistent, the parents’ view may be neutralized by contrary values held by friends
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This neutralization process is facilitated by the decreasing amount of time that parents spend with their children compared to the time spent in previous generations In sum, although children raised in the US are affected by a common culture, family forms, experiences, and emphases can vary enough to result in behavioral and attitudinal differences
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