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agent of socialization

individual, group, or institution that contributes to people’s socialization

childhood trauma

experience in childhood that has profound, lasting, negative effects on a person's health and well-being

gender socialization

process of acquiring the norms, beliefs, values, and behaviors associated with masculinity and femininity

generalized other

label that represents the perspective of society, including common behavioral social expectations


people's sense of who they are and the characteristics that define them

life course

stages people pass through over their lifetimes, from birth to death

life course trajectory

long-term life path that involves multiple transitions from one role or status to another

looking-glass self

theory that people develop a sense of self based on how they believe other people see and judge them

mass media

platforms of information that reach masses of people, such as television, radio, film, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet

peer group

includes people of about the same age, social status, and interests

personal identity

sense of who one is, including personality traits, beliefs, and values


identity in relation to others and society that is developed through socialization

social identity

people's sense of who they are, based on social group memberships or social categories

social location

person's place in society based on multiple factors including social class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion, and gender

social role

behavior associated with a social status


process through which people learn the values, norms, beliefs, and expectations of their society


position an individual holds within a society

total institution

institution that controls every aspect of an individual's life