Influence of Cultural Factors in Socialization

Through a technique known as "socialization," individuals learn the skills necessary to participate successfully in groups. It clarifies how individuals become conscious of and responsive to the norms and expectations of their communities, as well as how those who come to respect the perspectives of their contemporaries. Deftly negotiating one's social contexts is a skill that can be honed through exposure to various people and settings. Opportunities for people to engage with one another profoundly impact both individuals and the communities in which they live, exemplifying the closeness of families and neighborhoods.

What is the Influence of Cultural Factors on Socialization?

Since early childhood was assumed to be the peak of human development, it was assumed that later stages of life would not hold much appeal. Most people's personalities (including their intelligence and ability to interact with others) were thought to be set in stone by the time they were in their early twenties. As our understanding of human development improved through empirical study, it became clear that people's habits and outlooks could shift significantly even in old age. So, one of the main goals of modern developmental psychology is to study how development stays the same or changes over time

Perspectives on Social Growth Across the Lifespan that Vary by Culture

Looking for culture-specific values of childhood, adolescence, middle age, and old age stands out as one way to consider how different cultures conceptualize social development across the lifespan. The adolescent years, for example, could be non-existent or bypassed altogether in some societies. In some cultures, kids are expected to take on adult responsibilities as soon as their bodies allow it.

Children in Liberal democracies are treated as full members of society, with the same rights and responsibilities as their family members and the full support of the state through formal education and juvenile justice systems. They are taught early on to be self-reliant and strong-willed, just as many people in the western economy are.

The elimination of youth in some societies where young people are expected to take on adult responsibilities as soon as they reach puberty. In some societies, the onset of puberty signifies the progression to adolescence. Cultures by isolating boys at puberty, placing them in a male-only peer group governed by an adult male leader, and having them participate in extensive rituals based on gender. Due to the increasing value placed on education, other cultures view adolescence as a unique and, at times, difficult developmental stage

A culture's "normal" life expectancy determines which age groups are considered old. Many developed nations have longer lifespans and better health. That is due to changing gender roles, family structures, developmental conditions like health and well-being, and technological and societal changes that have increased life expectancies. In some cultures, the elderly are revered as "natural" authorities and wise elders who are cared for by their families. Today's urbanized societies value independence over the nuclear family, so the elderly often live alone and rely on their resources or the social assistance system.

Cultural Hierarchies

Culture allows people to organize their social world by classifying and ranking people and organizations according to their shared and distinctive characteristics. One cultural group's sway over another is proportional to that group's numerical and political clout in the area. Those in authority can influence cultural and social expectations and pressure to ensure that all members of society adhere to the dominant cultural norms. Culture, contrary to common belief, does not automatically reflect societal norms. Cultural knowledge helps humans get around in their communities. This means that popular culture is created and spread by dominant groups. The values of a society are its cultural norms, and they are transmitted from generation to generation. When one group controls and dictates to another, it is said to have cultural hegemony.

Socialization by Race and Ethnicity

The term "racial-ethnic socialization" describes how children become familiar with and accept the values and customs of their cultural background. Although it is not the norm, some white families discuss racism and bias toward their kids. Sociologists have identified the socialization of a growing number of white children to become color-blind as a form of racism or "white silence." Youth of the white race "learn what it means to be white in a society that currently values whiteness" through a process known as "white racial socialization." Schools, as places of racial socialization, must educate their students on systemic racism, the universality of the need to combat it through anti-racist action, and the interplay between stereotypes and their debunking stories that counter the stereotypes.

Social and Cultural Capital

All human interactions (social, cultural, etc.) are good for all parties involved. Various academic works define social capital as a community's most valuable economic (such as money and property) and cultural (such as norms, fellowship, and trust) assets. Only through the social networks its members have created and maintained are societies able to function. Inequality is created and maintained through social capital, as seen by analyzing how some people rise to influential positions through their networks. The quality of one's personal and social life can be enhanced or hindered by social capital. An individual's place in society is predetermined at birth by their gender, race, physical appearance, and level of intelligence.

A child's social status can be affected by their gender, their disability (mental or physical), and their membership in a minority group. Some societies' social hierarchies are based on individuals' skills, accomplishments, or contributions to the community. Gaining respect and status in many communities requires dedication to and success in one's chosen field of study or artistic endeavor. In a group setting, one's position can be deduced from the labels assigned to one's unique characteristics. Because they are more likely to be well-off, white, male, well-educated, etc., members of the dominant group are looked up to more favorably than those in the subordinate group (e.g., poor, black, female, housekeeper, etc.). Depending on one's position in the social order, one may have influence and participation in social activities.


Even though culture is human-made and can change, it affects socialization. Every culture wants to pass on its values and prove its superiority, so it will affect how people act. Culture affects socialization because some cultures promote individualism and others discourage group living.

Updated on: 26-Dec-2022

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