Oct 26, 2022 Comments Off on FAMILY AS AGENT OF SOCIALIZATION OpenBook



Socialization is an ongoing process of social interaction through which children become functional members of a society. What it means to be a functional member in a given society, however, depends on the broader socio-cultural context. Goals of socialization and parenting practices used to accomplish these goals vary across cultural groups, and parents and other caregivers play a particularly influential role in the socialization process.The aim of the study was to evaluate the performance of the family as agent of socialization. The research design employed was a descriptive survey. The descriptive survey method was adopted since the main focus was to gather information about the family as a social institution. The questionnaire was the data collection tool that was employed in the data collection. The researcher explained the purpose of the study to participants after the explanation. The data collected was organized, tabulated and analyzed to help explain the variables of research. Data was analyzed by use of tables. The research conclusion was that the family play a vital role in ensuring that their offspring grow up to become responsible adults in the society. The recommendations were that discrimination among children should be far from their family environment.




Socialization according to Adeyemi (2000) is the process of the child acquiring norms, attitudes, values, skills and sanctions of the society. Socialization is a life-long thing that occurs from cradle to grave. This research work from the foregoing will look into the “evaluation of the performance of the family as an agent of socialization and its prospects”. Socialization does not just occur but it starts from the cradle which is birth. The first socializer is the mother. The mother by nature has the privilege to carry the life in her womb right from the time of conception which is the period of 36 weeks popularly known as 9 months (ideally).

Furthermore, the child’s first contact with the mother after delivery is the sucking of the nipple or breast. The mother starts by training the child to get to differentiate between her and the father, and the other Sibling if there is. Therefore, the child continues to grow physically and mentally. The family now joins hands to see that the child differentiates evil from good.

They teach him the moral values of greeting elders, collecting things with the right hand than the left hand. Fafunwa (2001) viewed that in an ideal family setting, it is the duty of the parents to instill the right values to their children and to also live by examples. He went further to stress that unless the family lives up to its billings of moral training, the society will ever remain rotten morally. This research will look into the ways the family as the first agent of socialization has done so far in training the child to become a good citizen or a bad citizen. The family is the root and the beginning of everyone in this planet earth. It is the avenue where morals are being transmitted from one generation to another.

The family to some extent failed in its struggles to make its children responsible that is what the research is after.

1.1     Background of the Study

The concept of family is as old as man himself. It is the smallest unit of a society that consists of a father, mother and children if any. The family is made up of two major types the nuclear and extended family. The nuclear family comprises the father, his Wife and children only, while the extended family includes the grandfather, grandmother, nephew, niece, aunties, cousin etc. All these members of the family have a role to play in society. One sociologist Professor Patricia Wilmot in a paper presentation in the year 2005 observed that the beauty of any society depends with the knowledge and awareness of its family as an agent.

Furthermore, the family is referred as the first agent of socialization because every individual is born into a family; nobody is a vagabond or homeless. Other agents, markets, stadium, hospitals, prisons are all behind the family as an institution. It is a well-known fact that the family serves as the first agent; it is equally the engine room of producing the children and character. It is the responsibility of the family to raise children and to cater for the needs of the family members. e.g. through the three basic necessities of life, food, clothing and Shelter. Sociologists’ experts observed that “unless the needs of the family members are met, they will remain a misfit in the society and their immediate environment”.

The family as the first agent of socialization plays the bigger role in socializing the child. They learn how to greet, show obedience and become responsible through the teachings of the family. Every family naturally will like its off-springs to proper in this life, because it brings honour and respect to the family. Everybody will respect such a family. For instance in Darasalam Tanzania as a nation, Julius Nyerere (Late) a former Tanzania President respected today because he was good and patriotic to an average Tanzanian, even his family members are being worshipped today. But where the father was a wicked soul before his death, nobody will respect his remains, so also the entire family members.

In any family set up the father must take his responsibility and also the mother, so that the children can’ learn from them as model or mentors. In a school, if a child becomes stubborn so much that he does not have time for his class studies, it is always a big problem to the teachers in school. These disobedience ranges from truancy, noise making, fighting, stealing (theft), lack of respect for elders, lack of interest for learning and what have you. Back at home, the children because of lack of parental attention, join bad companies (friends) who eventually introduce them to terrible habits like stealing, smoking of cigarettes, morphane, cocaine and even armed robbery.

Subsequently, the family that has time to teach and train members always succeeds. The children do bring joy and peace to the family members than problems. We want to stress here that some innocent families are trying to teach their children morals but only for the children to become wayward because of the type of friends they keep at school and within their neighborhood or vicinities. The truth of the matter is that you cannot change such a child except the grace (favour) of God. Therefore, children become wayward and stubborn as a result of societal influences and also lack of parental care. Adeyenu (2003) do serve that broken home accounts for the success of waywardness in children. Were the father and mother are no longer staying together in the name of separation or divorce (permanent separation). It is obvious that when two great elephants meet, only the grass that will suffer. It is indeed true because the children are the grasses where the parents serve as the great elephant.

Having said that, this research will explore performances of the family as the first agent of socialization and how it has fared most. The family is the basic unit and the beginning of the human race. It is the basis and foundation of every human being and as a result every person receives his first training from the agent. If the society is good it is as a result of a good family background. The family background of a person is a determinant factor that makes a human being complete and comprehensive. Therefore it is a good basis for people to behave well except that the family never did her role to teach and preach to the young ones. The family role in the society cannot be overemphasized because of its foundational level of molding and remolding of human beings. The family responsibilities are so enormous than other agents who are outside the home vicinity. A healthy family brings a wealthy society. This is as a result of the fact that every human being must pass through the school system which the first training starts from the home. The hour the child spend at home is more than that at the school and even the time he spends with his family. Therefore this research will in detail look into the responsibility of the family vis a vis learning morals other social values and norms.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Socialization process that people with the values, beliefs and standards of behavior that culture expects them to learn. (Yasaei, 2001) family is a small community that one of the aims is the socialization of children Family learning center person; for one, many of the family learns social behavior, such as respect for the rights of others, having good or evil traits and environmental compatibility of family and others. For the social development of children naturally be complete, certain conditions must prevail in the family environment, which are briefly discussed below.

One must in a family environment, a sense of peace and security and ensure that the love and respect of others. When someone in the family is about love, social relations will be strengthened further, but if a family environment with fear and anxiety, he joined the humiliation and hatred, the vengeful and cynical times, and certainly in the social connections will be a failure. The behavior of parents in child development and social education is very effective. If parents constantly argue and talk constantly of separation and divorce, the socialization of the child would be severely compromised. In these situations, children suffered from anxiety and fear, and always concerned that fights and disputes occur between parents. This practice has very bad effects on children’s mental and social fields and provides diversion and delinquency.

In addition, the children of these families after marriage and family, his parents followed the ugly behavior and their wives behave in the same style. This issue in addition to severe psychological distress for families, in the long term may even lead to ruin societies.

1.3     Objective of the Study

The research has the following objectives.

  1. To make a theoretical framework of the role of the family in the Nigerian society.
  2. To evaluate the performance of the family as an agent of socialization and its prospects.
  3. To make an evaluative performance of the family as an agent of socialization.
  4. To examine the performance of the family in the areas of social norms values and attitudes.
  5. To suggest and recommend ways on how the family as the first agent of socialization can do to be better up.

1.4     Research Questions

The researchers hereby make the following as guiding questions.

  1. What is the role of the family as an agent of socialization?
  2. Does other forces or agents affect the family?
  3. Why do children becomes wayward and stubborn?
  4. What are the forces that help the family to succeed?
  5. What is the effort the government is doing to help the family as an agent?

1.5     Significance of the Study

The result of this study will to a large extend be useful to the practitioners in the department of social services. They will acquire knowledge on how to help families identify their basic roles in the life of children. The rural communities will be educated and encourage in performing their roles in order to raise good and responsible adults in the future.

1.6     Scope of the Study

The study will be given a special preference on some selected primary schools in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state and its environment. The result will consequently apply directly to the local government area and any generalization attempted for the whole country would be considered as rough extrapolation at the data.

1.7     Definition of Terms

Family: is the smallest unit at the society that comprise of the father, mother and children if any.

Evaluation: It is the act of trying to find out about a phenomenon or something.

Agent: It is a place or avenue

Socialization: It is the process of acquiring skills, attitudes values and norms.

Prospects: It has to do with result out of something.

Performance: Is the thing that happens or in a motion.

Values: Those accepted right behaviors in any place or society.

Sociologist: An expert of the nature and beginning of a society.

Extended: It has to do with far distant blood relations.

Nuclear: It has to do with near blood relations.

Mass Media: it has in do with electronic and print or papers.

Molding: The process of building a character or something.


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