The 6 Major Types of Socialization In Sociology (Explained)

Types of Socialization

Although socialization occurs during childhood and adolescence, it also continues in middle and adult age. Therefore, socialization is a life-long process. In this context, the types of socialization can be found in the following ways.

Primary or Childhood Socialization

This is also called basic or early socialization which refers to the socialization of the infant. Much of the personality makeup of individuals is forged at this period in life. It’s a means by which the infant studies language and cognitive skills, and internalizes norms and values. Socialization at this stage of life is a landmark; without it, we would cease to become social beings.

Hence, children should be appropriately socialized from birth up to particularly five years of age, because this period is a basic and crucial one. A child who does not get appropriate socialization at this stage will most likely be deficient in his/her social, moral, moral, intellectual, and personality development. Some grew up developing anti-social attitudes, aspirations, and practices. The primary socialization takes place in the family.

Secondary or Adulthood Socialization

The second type of socialization is secondary or adulthood socialization. Socialization is a never-ending process that continues throughout life. Secondary socialization is necessitated when an individual takes up new roles, reorienting themselves according to their changed social statuses and roles, as in starting marital life.

The socialization process at this stage may sometimes be intense. For example, for fresh college graduates entering the world of work to start their first jobs, there are quite many new roles to be mastered. Intense adult socialization may also occur among immigrants. When they go to other countries, they may need to learn the language, values, norms, and a host of other customs and folkways, coupled with experiencing economic hardships that may prove to be truly stressful and most challenging.

Although it may be fairly stated that childhood socialization experiences what kind of people we become, the challenges of socialization thus continue in the late adolescent and adult stages. This happens to be so particularly in the context of the fast-changing world in complex societies.


De-socialization is the process of giving up or loss of old norms, values, attitudes, and behavior patterns.

Re-Socialization (discard old behaviors and accept new ones)

Re-Socialization is the process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new norms, values, attitudes, and behavior patterns as part of a transition in one’s life.

Such re-socialization involves rejecting previous behavior patterns and accepting new ones so the individual can shift from one part of his life to another. E.g. when a criminal is rehabilitated, he has to change his role radically.

Other Minor Types of Socialization

Anticipatory Socialization

Anticipatory socialization refers to a process by which men learn the culture of a group in advance with the anticipation (hope) of joining that group or future role or status. As a person gets the proper beliefs, values, and norms of status or group to which he seeks, he is learning how to act in his new role.

E.g. a child anticipates parenthood (hopes to become a parent) which he learns by observing his parents perform their daily roles.

Reverse Socialization (socialization from younger to older ones)

In most cases, the child learns from his/her parents i.e. the influence flows from parents to the child. But, this role may be reversed, i.e. the young people may influence and change the attitudes and behaviors of their elders. E.g. the elders are more open to the influence of a teenager in which they are seen to be having experiences such as the adoption of technology, a new car, dressing style, etc.

1 thought on “The 6 Major Types of Socialization In Sociology (Explained)”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: