Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Oss0212
  • Sociology
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    Explain resocialization and anticipatory socialization


    OER Text Material

    Resocialization and Anticipatory Socialization, Section 5.4

    This subsection explains anticipatory socialization as the preparation for future life roles. It gives examples like cohabitating before marriage or soon-to-be parents who read infant care books and prepare their home for the new arrival. As part of anticipatory socialization, adults who are financially able begin planning for their retirement, saving money, and looking into future healthcare options. Resocialization is explained as the process of being socialized again when, for example, old behaviors that were helpful in a previous role are removed because they are no longer of use. Resocialization is necessary when a person moves to a senior care center, goes to boarding school, or serves time in jail. In the new environment, the old rules no longer apply. The process of resocialization is typically more stressful than normal socialization because people have to unlearn behaviors that have become customary to them.

    Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

    What is Anticipatory Socialization? What does Anticipatory Socialization Mean? (Video)

    A very good definition of anticipatory socialization. The presentation goes on to give the history of the concept including the person who coined the term. It is mentioned that the concept was first used in the study of the US military. Examples of anticipatory socialization are given.

    Socialization Across the Life Course 

    In this 2:21 minute video, anticipatory socialization is defined as the process, facilitated by social interactions, in which non-group-members learn to take on the values and standards of groups that they aspire to join, to ease their entry into the group and help them interact competently once they have been accepted by it. In the video, it is noted that words commonly associated with anticipatory socialization include grooming, play- acting, training and rehearsing. It is mentioned that the concept of anticipatory socialization, first defined by sociologist Robert K. Merton, has its origins in a 1949 study of the United States military.

    Intro to Sociology: Resocialization (Video)

    This video starts with a general explanation of socialization then delves into resocialization. Regarding resocialization, one needs to learn new norms because of life stages, different events, something imposed from the outside, etc. It is about discarding values and behaviors and replacing them with new situations, norms, etc. It could be voluntary or involuntary. Examples of voluntary and involuntary are given.

    Resocialization and Total Institutions

    This article notes that resocialization involves far-reaching changes in an individual’s values, beliefs, and behavior. Such resocialization occurs in what Erving Goffman called total institutions. As their name implies, these institutions have total control over the lives of the people who live in them. Thus, total institutions exert total control over the lives of their residents. Total institutions typically try to eliminate the individual identity of their residents and often subject them to harsh treatment. The article goes on to give examples of total institutions.

    Resocialization, Introduction to Sociology

    In this article, resocialization is defined as getting rid of old behavior patterns and accepting new ones as a part of a new life transition. It is noted that resocialization occurs best in a total institution setting. In this setting, a single authority figure inside the institution will decide what activities will be conducted by individuals. The people inside the total institutions have almost their every move set out for them. If they do not comply to these orders by authority figures, than they will face consequences. Another factor is having every aspect of life within the institution related towards the goals of the organization. Examples of total institutions include mental institutions, the military, convents, and prisons.