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Socialization for the Transmission of Culture Essay

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Updated: Jul 12th, 2021

Cultural transmission is a process that involves sharing cultural values, knowledge, and beliefs among people. Such a mechanism may occur between different generations within one society or between representatives of different cultural groups. The transmission of culture is a matter of interest for many disciplines of the social sciences cycle. The process of sharing cultural norms is inevitably associated with socialization, which entails the ways of behaving in society.

Based on the core operational definitions of socialization and cultural transmission, it appears that these processes have much in common. Socialization is defined as an important process with the help of which people can navigate in society (Wang et al. 1458). Cultural transmission is another process people have to take to learn new information and use it in everyday life. Looking through the prism of cultural transmission, specific features have to be defined and preserved across generations. Therefore, it is evident that the role of socialization in the process of transmitting culture is rather significant.

Socialization is what helps people to accommodate new circumstances and experiences. For instance, when a child goes to school, he or she has to learn how to behave in class, how to communicate with peers, and how to react to the teacher’s instructions. Without the ability to socialize, one would not be able to comprehend these processes. However, through socialization, the majority of children understand the core principles of school regulations within a few weeks, and they become accustomed to the new environment.

The same relationship may be traced in the process of cultural transmission, which has three different forms. Vertical transmission refers to passing cultural norms from parents to children. Horizontal transmission involves transferring important cultural data among individuals belonging to the same age group. Finally, there is also an oblique type of transmission that presupposes that information is shared by older generations to younger ones, but they are not parents and children. Hence, vertical transmission is the only one involving genetic relations between the giver and the receiver of cultural information.

Irrespective of the type of cultural transmission, socialization is a highly important component. Without the ability to socialize, people would not be able to understand each other’s differences as well as the need to accommodate and adjust their behavior. Socialization is a multidimensional process with several different agents being involved with their unique psychological features and sources (Wang et al. 1459). Since transmitting culture presupposes teaching someone about the values and norms of behavior, it is impossible to complete this process without reaching the recipient’s socialization first. If a person does not realize the efforts of peers, parents, or other significant adults aimed at explaining cultural differences, the process of cultural transmission will not be completed. Hence, socialization plays two highly crucial functions in any society. On the one hand, it helps new members to adjust to social groups. On the other hand, it allows these groups to reproduce and continue existing.

Cultural transmission is one of the basic constituents of recreating cultures and passing values from one person or group to others. However, this process would not be able to flow successfully without socialization. The significance of socialization in the transmission of culture cannot be overestimated. With the help of explaining to individuals how to accommodate social groups, one can prepare the ground for sharing these groups’ core values, beliefs, and knowledge.

Works Cited

Wang, Yijie, et al. “The Cultural Socialization Scale: Assessing Family and Peer Socialization Toward Heritage and Mainstream Cultures.” Psychological Assessment, vol. 27, no. 4, 2015, pp. 1452-1462.

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