The process by which individuals learn the culture of their society is known as? | Sociology for CUET by Vikash Ranjan | Sociology Guru

Individuals Learn

Question: The process by which individuals learn the culture of their society is known as?

  1. Acculturation
  2.  Indoctrination
  3. Socialisation
  4. Internalisation

Answer: (3)

The question posed in the MA CUET exam pertains to the fundamental concept of socialization, a critical aspect in the study of sociology. The correct answer is (c) Socialisation. Socialization is a complex and continuous process through which individuals learn and internalize the cultural norms, values, beliefs, language, and behaviors of their society. It is an essential mechanism that shapes an individual’s identity, personality, and understanding of their role within the broader social framework.

Socialization Defined:

Socialization is best understood as the process by which individuals acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to participate effectively in their society. From the moment a person is born, they are immersed in a world of social interactions, and through these interactions, they gradually learn the intricacies of their culture. Socialization is not a one-time event; rather, it is a lifelong process that evolves and adapts to different stages of an individual’s life.

Components of Socialization:

  1. Norms and Values: Socialization involves the transmission of societal norms and values. Norms are the accepted patterns of behavior, while values are the shared beliefs that guide individuals in their actions. Through socialization, individuals come to understand what is considered appropriate or inappropriate in their society.
  2. Language: Language is a crucial element of socialization. It serves as a medium through which individuals communicate and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Language acquisition begins early in life and plays a vital role in shaping an individual’s cognitive and social development.
  3. Roles and Identities: Socialization contributes to the formation of social roles and identities. Individuals learn the expected behaviors associated with their roles, such as those of a son, daughter, student, or employee. These roles, in turn, contribute to the development of one’s identity within the societal context.
  4. Beliefs and Worldview: Socialization influences an individual’s beliefs and worldview. Through interactions with family, peers, education, and media, individuals develop a framework for understanding the world around them. This includes cultural, religious, and moral perspectives.

Importance of Socialization:

  1. Survival: Socialization is essential for survival within a society. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate social interactions, follow societal norms, and meet the expectations of their community.
  2. Cultural Transmission: Socialization ensures the continuity and transmission of culture from one generation to the next. It is through socialization that cultural practices, traditions, and customs are passed down, preserving the identity of a society.
  3. Social Order: Socialization contributes to the maintenance of social order by instilling shared values and norms. It helps prevent chaos by providing a common understanding of acceptable behavior within a community.
  4. Identity Formation: Individual identity is intricately linked to the process of socialization. The roles, values, and beliefs learned during socialization contribute to the development of a unique identity for each person.

The Lifelong Nature of Socialization:

Socialization is not confined to childhood or adolescence; rather, it is a continuous process throughout an individual’s life. Different stages of life bring new challenges, roles, and responsibilities, requiring ongoing adaptation and learning. For example, transitioning from school to the workplace or becoming a parent involves a new set of socialization experiences.

Ian Robertson’s Definition:

The quote provided in the answer refers to Ian Robertson’s definition of socialization as the “process of social interaction through which people acquire personality and learn the way of life of their society.” Robertson emphasizes the interactive nature of socialization, highlighting that it occurs through ongoing social interactions with others in the community.

Socialization Agents:

Several agents play a crucial role in the socialization process. These include:

  1. Family: The family is often the primary agent of socialization, where individuals first learn language, norms, and values.
  2. Peers: Peers contribute to socialization by influencing behavior, preferences, and providing a sense of belonging.
  3. Education: Schools and educational institutions shape individuals by imparting knowledge, skills, and societal expectations.
  4. Media: Media, including television, the internet, and other forms of communication, play a significant role in shaping cultural attitudes and values.
  5. Religion: Religious institutions contribute to socialization by instilling moral and ethical values.

Challenges and Variations in Socialization:

While socialization is a universal process, the content and methods can vary across cultures and societies. Different societies may prioritize certain values or emphasize particular norms. Additionally, individuals may face challenges or disruptions in the socialization process, such as exposure to conflicting cultural influences or disruptions in family structures.


In conclusion, the concept of socialization is foundational to understanding how individuals become active participants in their societies. It is a lifelong process that shapes one’s identity, beliefs, and behaviors. David Glass’s pioneering work on socialization in 1949 laid the groundwork for comprehending intergenerational mobility, contributing significantly to the field of sociology. The study illuminated the importance of family background in shaping life opportunities and social mobility, findings that continue to resonate in contemporary sociological research.

Understanding socialization is crucial not only for academic examinations like MA CUET but also for gaining insights into the dynamics of human societies. As individuals navigate the complexities of their lives, socialization remains a constant and influential force that shapes their interactions, perspectives, and contributions to the broader social fabric.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Question: Define the term “ethnic movement” and provide an example from India.

Answer: An ethnic movement refers to a collective effort by a group sharing common cultural, linguistic, or religious traits, seeking to assert their identity and rights; an example from India is the Khalistan Movement in Punjab.

2. Question: Identify the main objectives behind the Gorkhaland ethnic movement.

Answer: The Gorkhaland ethnic movement primarily seeks to establish a separate state for India’s Nepali-speaking population in the Darjeeling region, advocating for linguistic and cultural recognition and political autonomy.

3. Question: What was the Operation Blue Star, and which ethnic movement was it related to?
Answer: Operation Blue Star was a military action in 1984, aiming to remove Sikh militants hiding in the Golden Temple in Amritsar; it is related to the Khalistan movement, which sought a separate Sikh country.

4. Question: Mention a critical factor that triggered the emergence of ethnic movements in India, as discussed by Dipankar Gupta.
Answer: Dipankar Gupta emphasized that ethnicity is fundamentally a political process, wherein caste and religion, the key components of identity formation, are politicized by leaders for vested interests.

5. Question: What were the primary reasons for the Assam Ethnicity conflicts involving Bodo tribals and Bengali Muslim settlers?
Answer: The Assam Ethnicity conflicts primarily stemmed from issues related to immigration, land rights, and resource allocation, leading to clashes, riots, and evolving relationships among indigenous communities to address challenges.

6. Question: Briefly describe the role of the Dravidian Movement in terms of caste and societal structure.
Answer: The Dravidian Movement, led notably by E.V. Ramasamy, aimed to establish an egalitarian society, focusing on anti-Brahmanism and advocating for equal rights for backward castes, while also introducing reforms like self-respect marriages.

7. Question: Name the prominent ethnic movements in North-East India and specify one common objective.
Answer: Prominent ethnic movements in North-East India include the Nagas’ and Mizos’ struggles; a common objective was to gain autonomy and recognition for their distinct tribal identities and cultural uniqueness.

8. Question: What is the key argument of Gail Omveldt regarding traditional Indian society and multiculturalism?
Answer: Gail Omveldt opposed romanticizing traditional Indian society, arguing that hierarchy has always dominated it and dismissing the notion that multiculturalism is an intrinsic feature of Indian society as a myth.

9. Question: Briefly explain the social hierarchy factor as a contributing element to ethnic movements as suggested by Olzak.
Answer: Olzak suggests that the construction of hierarchies among ethnic communities, which often leads to the suppression of one group by another, is a key factor that can instigate social and ethnic movements.

10. Question: Identify one consequence of the unequal economic development factor within the context of ethnic movements in India.
Answer: One consequence of unequal economic development is the marginalization and underdevelopment of certain groups, leading to feelings of alienation and sometimes initiating ethnic movements as these groups strive for equality and recognition.

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