What is socialization? Like many concepts in developmental psychology, socialization can be variously defined. According to Kao et al. (1997) socialization refers to ‘an explicit transmission of appropriate values through deliberate attempts to shape, coax, and mould children’s behaviour’ (Segall et al., 1990) (p. 154). Chambers and Patterson (1995) state that ‘socialization is something that emerges from thousands of exchanges between the child and family members spread out over a period of many years. During these exchanges, the child is altering the behaviour of the parent at the same time that the parent is presumably ‘socializing’ the child. It is this mutuality of effects that makes it very difficult to analyze cause and effect relations’ (1995, pp. 211–12). According to Maccoby (1992), contemporary theories of socialization place greater stress on the interactive exchanges between parent and child as contributors to behaviour. In addition, explanations have become more complex and multidimensional than those offered by earlier approaches. Closely related to the process of socialization is the process called enculturation. This is the process by which youngsters learn and adopt the ways and manners of their culture. Another term closely related to enculturation is the concept of acculturation (see Chapter 3).
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- Socialization: Cultural/Racial Influences
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