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  1. Janelle L. Wilson1,
  2. Subhash R. Sonnad2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0901

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Wilson, J. L. and Sonnad, S. R. 2010. Socialization. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Minnesota, Duluth

  2. 2

    Western Michigan University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Socialization is the process of becoming a social being. During this process, individuals acquire ways of learning, thinking, acting, and feeling that enable them to familiarize themselves with the culture and become active participants in the social process. Agents of socialization are persons or institutions that are influential in this process; key agents include family, peers, schools, and media. The increasingly ubiquitous role of popular culture and the media in the socialization process has gained the attention of scholars these past several years. Most recently, the role of rapidly changing technologies, such as cell phones, BlackBerrys, and iPods, as agents of socialization (especially among children and adolescents) has raised questions about their effect on human development. Peer groups have also gained in importance, because the family system has been subjected to significant changes that include single-parent child rearing, stepparent socialization, multiple-parent siblings, and fragmentation of family roles and responsibilities.


  • child development;
  • developmental psychology;
  • parent-child relationships;
  • peer influence;
  • socialization