The Role of Social Media in Childhood Socialization

Filed in Articles by on June 29, 2022

The Role of Social Media in Childhood Socialization.


Socialization is viewed as a learning process in which an individual acquires the norms, values, beliefs, attitudes and language characteristics of his or her group (Gecas, 1992). Gecas added that in the meantime, individuals’ self-concept is also developed.

Gecas’ socialization definition not only shows the process of individuals’ learning to become a member of the community but also emphasizes self-development. There are five dominant socialization agents: family, peers, school, environments and mass media.

Family or parents are viewed as the primary socialization agent since pre-teen children are heavily influenced by their parents’ values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.

Peers become a critical socialization agent during the period of adolescence, though it can also be found throughout various age levels. As a socialization agent, mass media and the environment plays a unique role in the socialization process.

The environment consists of various contexts including churches, work and neighborhood. Mass media consist of the seven traditional mass media channels including television, radio, films, recording industry.

It is evident that mass media have become such a powerful socialization agent in shaping individuals’ values, ideals, attitudes and behaviors through dynamic vicarious learning processes (Tan, 1995; Bandura, 1994).

1.1 Background of the study

The history of mass communications is relatively short in the scope of world history. Although news-sheets appeared as early as 100 B.C., most forms of communication reaching large numbers of people have developed only in the last 500 years.

As nations moved from agrarian- to industrial-based societies, tremendous social changes influenced the development of mass media.

During the Industrial Revolution, advances in education and transportation, as well as increases in leisure time and urbanization, helped spur reader demand and hence the growth of newspapers, books and magazines.

As the public’s appetite for information and entertainment grew, technological innovations paved the way for the creation of the electronic mass media of the twentieth century.

Satellite communications and the Internet are now among the products of today’s Information Age, sparked by the demand for even more channels of communication and socialization that are faster, clearer and farther-reaching.

From the simple, crude printing techniques of yesteryear to today’s sophisticated digital communications media that canvas the globe, the mass media have continually evolved and adapted to changing demands and technological opportunities.


Bandura, A. (1994). Social cognitive theory of mass communication. In J. Bryant & D. Zillmann (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research pp.121-154.
Comstock, G. A., & Paik, H. (1991). Television and the American child. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Comstock, G., & Scharrer, E. (2001). The use of television and other film-related media. In D. G. Singer &]. L. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media.pp. 47-72.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (2003). Connected to the future: A report on children’s internet use [Online]. Washington, DC. Available: www.cpb.ord.
Gecas, V. (1992). Contexts of socialization. In E. F. Borgatta & M. D. Borgatta (Eds.), Encyclopedia of sociology.. 4: 1863-1972..
Huesmann, L. R. (2005). Imitation and the effects of observing media violence on behavior. In S. Hurley & N. Chater (Eds.), Perspectiues on imitation: From neuroscience to social science:  dellelopment, and culture pp. 257-266.

Comments are closed.

Hey Hi

Don't miss this opportunity

Enter Your Details