Anticipatory Socialization

The development of a social self is literally a lifelong transformation that begins in the crib and continues as one prepares for death. Two types of socialization occur at many points throughout the life course: anticipatory socialization and resocialization.

Anticipatory socialization refers to the process of socialization in which a person "rehearses" for future positions, occupations, and social relationships. You can see the process of anticipatory socialization taking place when high school students start to consider what colleges they may attend. Traditionally, this meant looking at publications received in the mail or making campus visits. However, with new technology, more and more students are using the Web to begin their college experience.

You can see the process of anticipatory socialization take place when high school students start to consider what colleges they want to attend. Some students, for example, look at publications received in the mail or visit campuses. Others use the Web to begin their college experience. In the space below, describe the process of anticipatory socialization that took place when you began to consider colleges.


THINK ABOUT IT

1. How might you experience anticipatory socialization in relation to your major field of study?

2. Resocialization refers to the process of discarding former behavior patterns and accepting new ones as part of a transition in one's life. Discuss a situation in your own life, or the life of a close friend or family member, when resocialization occurred.


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