Socialization and Media

Why do we eat a hamburger with our hands while eating pasta with a fork and spoon? We are socialized from conception and continually taught how to act and react to function within society. The process of socialization, which is ongoing, is how we pick up the values of our society. In a sense, our identity, beliefs, and behaviors are all products of our socialization; they are all shaped by it. If Tarzan were taken to a dinner party at high society, he would not just be perplexed over which fork to use first; he would be completely perplexed by the entire setting for the meal and perhaps even think it was ridiculous how people fuss over something as simple as eating.

What is Socialization?

People learn and interact with the values and social norms of a particular society and culture through socialization, which occurs throughout their lifespan. An individual's socialization process is thought to be shaped by the media, which is regarded as a potent socialization agent. The family, the school, the classmates, the media, the workplace, one's cultural heritage, or the political context are important socialization factors. The agents of socialization greatly influence our thoughts and perspectives on our neighborhood, nation, and world.

These agents also help to create our standards and ideals surrounding acceptable behavior and how we interact with others. Each agent's influence on a person varies according to that person's personality, experiences, and life stage. The process of socialization, which involves assimilating into society, is marked by psychosocial developmental tasks, societal adaptation processes, and the desire to be a part of one or more particular social groups. In the end, socialization takes time; before certain social norms, laws, and values become deeply ingrained in an individual, they must be repeatedly exposed to them.

Agents of Socialization

  • Family

  • Religion

  • Government

  • Media

  • Peers

  • School/Work

Media as a Powerful Agent of Socialization

Media socialization is mostly a process of subconscious learning and development. The ability to learn by observational learning, imprinting long-lasting behavioral scripts and cognitive patterns simply as a result of witnessing others, is enabled by media and conditioned by family, friends, and cultural context. Technological determinism is the view that social structures and processes are determined by technology.

Several studies debunk early hypotheses about media's effects, which contend that everyone is impacted equally by media use. It is crucial to consider how other agents of socialization interact with the media to comprehend the media as an agent of socialization. Given that it depends on the interaction of numerous factors, including content, setting, family, friends, personality, motivation, and educational and cultural background, the function of media in socialization processes is difficult to quantify.

Effects of Media on Socialization Processes

Mass media, including television, radio, and print media, have historically been the focus of studies on how media might affect socialization processes. The topic of media effects research has also included music and fan communities centered around particular musical genres or musical groups. Research on media effects has undergone commensurate changes due to the introduction of numerous digital and mobile media devices and the amount of digital media content.

Because the distinctions between media creators and consumers and between private and public communication (referred to as the "networked public sphere") are becoming hazier and hazier, recent research in the field has mainly concentrated on how digital media affect social behavior. These challenges for socialization include social media increasing competition, arousing feelings in other communities, encouraging constant use, readily influenced by the Blue Whale game, and leading to cyberbullying, despair, and feelings of loneliness after losing touch with close friends, among other negative effects.

Positive effects of media on socialisation Negative effects of media on socialization
Communication Time loss
Information Addiction
Education Security gap

Impact of Television on Socialization

Television is a tool where a child fits in best at a particular time, and it gradually steals time away from other things that can be very important for a child. There is little doubt that watching television can have good and bad effects on young children. The media form that has the most influence on people's lives is television. The time kids spend in front of screens exceeds the time they spend in school in many developed economies.

Children's reactions to television rely on various circumstances, including how much time they spend in front of the television, their age, their personality, whether they watch it alone or with an adult, and whether they talk to their parents about what they have watched or not. Parents in modern households often leave their kids in front of the television for extended periods because they want to fulfill all of their kids' wants. Children are conditioned to want to own something if they want to watch it.

Media Experience in Individual Socialization-Related Processes

With the help of mass media, we may access vast information and perceive and comprehend social reality as it exists. A surplus of the latter distorts the methods for mastering knowledge: the individual needs no further recall; all he needs to know is where and how to conduct research. The media change his sensations, mental life, and social ties. The majority of media are tools used in the creation and dissemination of other goods.

We are surrounded by "transformed and transferred reality," which transforms our surroundings into informational screens that present various messages. While media-related space is oriented by audience expectations, modeling and further developing them, reality reception is documented by communication principles and requirements. The environment is media, which provides us with knowledge about reality through different experiences. The world seems farther away from humans as they learn more about it. Instead of giving people access to the world itself, technologies allow them to learn about it.


Our current society is evolving quickly. The primary key is to collaborate with others continually. The concept of socialization demonstrates how socialization occurs throughout a person's life. People will socialize better as society grows and becomes freer and more democratic. Anyone who wishes to change society must persuade people of the superiority of their ideas to inspire faith and confidence in them. The media, along with many other agents, plays this role. If they are free and democratic, the goal will be to reflect social reality.

Updated on: 02-May-2023

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