Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values

Last Updated: June 2023 (Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values)

Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values

This article deals with the topic titled ‘Role of Family Society and Educational Institutions in Inculcating Values .’ This is part of our series on ‘Ethics’. For more articles, you can click here.

Concept of Socialization

To set the context for the article, we will first deal with the concept of socialization.


What is Socialization?

  • Socialization is the process by which a person develops values to live in society as a productive and participative member. 
  • It is a lifelong process (from coming out of the womb to going to the tomb) of shaping an individual’s social tendencies so that he becomes and remains a useful and productive member of his society. 
  • It is a process by which a nascent biological infant becomes a sharing and participating member of his society. 
  • It is a process by which culture is transmitted from one generation to the next.
  • But why are we reading this? The answer is – If a question comes about how you will develop this value/attitude, this is the way out.

Agencies of Socialization

Values are developed by the following agencies 

Agencies of Socialization

Mechanisms of Socialization

Mechanisms of Socialization
  • Observational Learning: The process of learning by watching others is known as Observational Learning. It occurs through social role models like parents, teachers, friends, siblings etc.
  • Conditioning: It is a deliberate effort to socialize individuals by attaching rewards and punishment to encourage and discourage the behaviour.
  • Role Playing: It is the process of imagining and visualizing oneself as someone else and acting like him. While playing such roles, the individual is able to get a feel of others and suitably modifies his response. 
  • Trial and Error: It is based on self-learning and experiences. 

Important Points

  • Socialization is the story of involving these agencies and mechanisms to develop certain individuals’ values. (by extension: if a person is showing those values/attitudes which are making him a liability to society, we can use this process to mould his values/attitudes accordingly) 
  • Implicit in the idea of socialization is individual will have some discretion about which values he wants to imbibe and which he doesn’t want to imbibe. 
  • Also, when an individual imbibes values, it is upon his discretion in which way he will behave to show that value. E.g. individual has imbibed the value of patriotism but now how he will show that value in his behaviour is upon his discretion.  

Role of Family in the Socialization of Children

  • It is the informal agency of socialization. 
  • Family is a network of relationships marked by cooperationcontinuity and emotionality not duplicated in any other system.

How Parents help in the formation of values?

There is close contact between the parents and children. Parents are more accessible to the child than other members of the family. The minds of children develop in a major way through the process of non-formal education at home. Home is often said to be the first school, and parents are the first teachers.

How Parents help in the formation of values? 

As far as Value development is concerned, the family is one of the agencies in forming values. The same mechanisms are at play here, i.e. Observational Learning, Conditioning, Role Modelling and other family-specific things.

  • Observations: The child develops values by observing people who are significant to him. Since a child spends maximum time around their parents, it is natural that they observe them keenly and start to inculcate values shown by their parents.  
  • Conditioning: Those values which are rewarded by the parents become strong, and which are punished become weak. Hence, parents, via this, help in the formation of values in children. 
  • Role of Customs and Traditions: Customs and traditions taught by the family help the children to be disciplined and organized. But at the same time, if the female members of the family do not have freedom or if they are not allowed to work outside, children would develop the same patriarchal mindset.
  • Ensures smooth integration into society: Family inculcates the values which conform to societal norms and thus ensures value consensus to integrate the child into society. 
  • Emotional Experience: If children grow among secure individuals, they start to trust people around them & their thinking becomes positive.
  • Democratic decision-making: The family should allow the child to participate in decision-making and let children put their views and thereafter take decisions. It helps in inculcating democratic values. 
  • Helping children with good reading: Parents must encourage children to read good books and learn from them. Additionally, telling stories about the life of great persons can also help in this regard. 

Further, we will discuss the ‘role of the family in socialization’ under 3 headings.

Role of Family in the Socialization of Children

1. Styles of Parenting

  • It is the behaviour displayed by parents to discipline their children and inculcate values in them.
  • Parents translate their love and affection for their children into different styles of parenting. 

Depending upon the style of parenting, it can be classified into three types.

1.1. Authoritarian

  • They believe in restricting the autonomy of their children. 
  • They impose their value system on their children. Hence children of Authoritarian parents are generally. 
    • Either over-compliant or hostile  
    • Less cooperative 
    • More Self Centric 
    • Less Compassionate 
    • Less Empathetic 
    • Biased or partial 
  • In India, most children receive Authoritarian Parenting. The reason for this is the huge power difference between different family members. There is a clear hierarchy of power enjoyed by parents and children.

1.2. Democratic

  • They deal with their children in a rational & issue-oriented manner.
  • Unlike authoritarian parents who rely on physical punishment to discipline their children, democratic parents use the threat of withdrawal of love as a principle mechanism to discipline their children. 
  • Democratic parenting requires two outstanding qualities, i.e. (1) Patience and (2) Tolerance. People are very low on these qualities even if educated. It is the reason why democratic parenting is rare, even in the case of educated parents.
  • If they make use of physical punishment, they explain to their children why they were given physical punishment. 
  • They also provide positive re-enforcement on the display of desired behaviour. 
  • Democratic parenting will develop the following values
    • Objectiveness 
    • Impartiality
    • Cooperativeness
    • Tolerance
    • Patience
    • Empathy 
    • Compassion

1.3. Permissive

  • Permissive parents provide their children with as much freedom as is consistent with the child’s physical survival.
  • Their parenting will be characterized by neglect, apathy and non-involvement.
  • Parents have indifferent behaviour towards their children, and as a result, children will develop the following values. 
    • Avoidance
    • Non Involvement
    • Indifference 
  • There is a tendency among children that they will identify themselves with negative role models and develop negative values. The reason for this is that parents have the least watch over their children due to complete indifference towards their children.

2. The role played by Mother

  • There is an emotional bond between the child and his caretakers. This bond is significant because it provides security to the child to explore his environment & becomes the basis for a future inter-personal relationship. 
  • By the time they are one year old, all babies get attached to the mother. But the nature and quality of attachment differ. Based on the demandingness and rewardingness of the mother, attachment can either be secure or insecure. 
    • Secure attachment is characterised by
      • A warm relationship between the mother and child 
      • When mothering is consistent, and the mother presents herself as a rational role model to the child, then the mother-child relationship is characterised by trust and mutuality. 
    • Insecure Attachment: When a mother is
      • Impervious to the needs of a child 
      • Places unreasonable demands from the child 
      • The mother-child relationship is characterised by neglect or indulgence, or excessive indulgence. 
  • Secure attachment is important because 
    • It will produce a value of empathy, tolerance, patience, impartiality, cooperation etc., in the children.  
  • The insecure attachment will result in the following things in children.
    • Absence of bold and confident behaviour
    • Lack of trust, self-belief and cooperation
    • Poor achievement orientation & high dependency orientation
    • Avoidance of responsibility assumption

Hence, Insecure attachment provides none of the values demanded from civil servants like trust, transparency etc.

In most cases in India, the relationship is of an insecure type. The reason for this is that due to the patriarchal setup of society and the dependence of the mother on the males for resources, the mother herself is very insecure.

3. Role of Fathers

  • Like the mother, the father also influences the child’s value development through Observational Learning & Conditioning (reward and punishment).
  • Boys, through their identification with their fathers, acquire gender-appropriate values and behaviour. 
  • Likewise, girls, through the identification with their fathers, learn to make heterosexual adjustments. 

UPSC (2017): “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference- the father, the mother and the teacher.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Analyse.

Role of School

  • School is the formal agency of socialization.
  • It steps into the life of a child when a child is 4-5 years old. 
  • It helps children in the development of 
    • Cognitive Skills: Through Curricular Activities
    • Social Skills: Through Extracurricular Activities 
    • Interpersonal Skills: Through Extracurricular Activities
    • Psychomotor Skills: Through Curricular Activities 
  • The school acts as a bridge between family and society and prepares the child for adult life.
  • The school helps the child to interact with those who are neither your friends nor your kin.

Agents that are at play in value development at School

1. Teachers

  • Teachers are great role models, and their action greatly impacts children at their impressionable age. 
  • The main mechanisms used by them include
    • Observational Learning 
    • Operant Conditioning (reward & punishment) 
  • Through their unbiased treatment of the class, they help generate Impartiality.  
  • Through their commitment, diligence and timeliness, they generate values of hard work, keeping commitments and observing punctuality. 
  • They help to inculcate the value of rational and objective thinking and scientific temperament.
  • A teacher can help develop learners’ self-attributional patterns through judicious use of reward and punishment. 

2. Curriculum

  • The curriculum should provide culture-specific inputs that facilitate the child’s adjustment to his socio-cultural milieu. 
  • The curriculum should use anecdotes (storytelling) which can inculcate certain values in children. E.g. Stories of Panchatantra or stories of patriotism of freedom fighters etc. 

3. Extracurricular Activities

These are important to inculcate values of

  1. Teambuilding 
  2. Cooperative behaviour 
  3. Responsibility assumption
  4. Commitment  
  5. Tolerance
  6. Patience 

Side Topic: Schools as agents of socialization is failing because 

  • There is a huge divide between text & context. The content is not in sync with the socio-cultural milieu. What is taught at school is challenged at home and vice versa. Hence, when the curriculum is designed, policymakers should be aware of the socio-cultural milieu of the child. Along with that, parents’ reorientation should occur parallel to children.
  • The scheme of evaluation is rotten, with more focus on fact memorization and reproducibility, and not on practical knowledge.
  • There is a lack of scientific temper in the content, which is driven by ideological colourization.

Role of Social Influence and Peer Pressure 

  • Social Influence can be defined as a change in behaviour caused by real and imagined pressure from others (in society). 
  • Peer Pressure involves interaction between coequals (in the above cases, the interaction wasn’t between equals).
  • The importance of peer group is at its peek during adolescence. It is the phase where an individual goes through emotional, physical and cognitive changes. Hence, adequate intervention by family and school is required to prevent any negative socialization.  Peer group influences our life goals, occupational goals, behaviour etc.
  • The most effective social influence attempts to succeed in changing a person’s attitude and behaviour. But changing someone’s attitude is not necessary for social influence to occur; all that is required is behaviour change. 
  • But the thing is, although social influence doesn’t require a person to change his Values and Attitude, he does change that gradually because if he is working against his values, that process will make him pass through Mental turmoil and conflict each time he does that. Gradually, to avoid this, he alters his values and attitude. 

Categories of Social Influence

1. Conformity/Peer Pressure

  • It involves changing one’s behaviour to match the responses of others and to fit in with those around us. 
  • Why person do this 
    • To make a person socially acceptable 
    • Avoid social rejection
    • Fear of being different from the group 

2. Compliance

  • Act of changing one’s behaviour in response to a direct request from friends, neighbours, relatives etc.

3. Obedience

  • A special type of compliance that involves changing one’s behaviour in response to a directive from an authority figure
  • Obedience is a good & easy way of behaviour change because People usually accept their directives without giving much thought to what they are saying. 

Other things related to when a person works in a group

  • Social Loafing: When a person works in a group, he tends to put less effort than he puts when working individually.
  • When a person is part of a mob or group, he loses his individuality), and he is at the mercy of the group, whether good or bad. These things result in mob violence because he dares not speak against what others are saying. 
  • Group Think: The mode of thinking that occurs when the desire for harmony in decision-making in a group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. 

Role of Media

  • Media is the mode of communication. When this media appeals to the masses, it becomes a case of mass media. Hence, mass media is the entire family of technological devices that makes communication with the masses possible. 
  • It is known as the ‘fourth pillar of democracy’ as it helps in ensuring the transparency and accountability of the government. Moreover, it acts as the linking pin between the government and the people. 

How Media helps in Socialization

  • It helps in shaping the perception by educating the masses.
  • It is also the source of observational learning to inculcate values. 
  • It provides us with topics for discussion. 
  • Media influence our aspirations. The media has increased the aspirations of people for quality of life. 

Problems with using media as a Source of Socialization

It has increased

  1. Commodification
  2. Consumerization
  3. Increased feeling of relative deprivation
  4. Disinhibition of various anti-social behaviours 
  5. Blurred the distinction between illusion and reality 
  6. Aspiration explosion
  7. Paid News: Mass behaviour is not shaped by something neutral but by somebody who is controlling media with money power 
  8. Sensationalising of news may promote communal hatred.
  9. Desensitization to violence 
  10. Advertisements shown on TV sometimes promotes Stereotyping (E.g., Fair and Lovely Ad) & objectification of woman.

Role of Religious Institutions

  • Religion can be defined as the collection of belief systems and world views intending to give meaning to life through various symbols, narratives and sacred histories.  

Significance of Religion

  • Children’s level and type of religious socialization depend upon parental religious participation. It is observed that children raised in religious homes have more religiosity in their life. 
  • It is an integrative social force. Religious rituals like weddings, funeral ceremonies etc., promote group solidarity and cohesion. 
  • Provides us identity: Identity increases the sense of security in a person due to belonging to a collective.
  • Causality: We need religion to explain the causality of things where it is hard to find a scientific explanation of those things. But in cultures where the domain of Supernatural to explain cause is more, there is a low level of education and scientific temper. 
  • Religion also plays a prophetic function. It provides authentic and time-honoured standards upon which institutional norms can be evaluated. 
  • Religion provides society with a positive framework to manage frustration and miseries.  
  • Entertainment: Religion is one of the most important sources of entertainment for people. 
  • Religion helps man to know his creator, thus satisfying man’s intellectual nature. 

Overall, religion plays an important role in social cohesion, keeping the crime under check and upholding the moral fabric of the society.

Role of Workplace

  • Work is important for a person because it provides a person with an identity. Most researchers have concluded that occupational identity is the most critical identity for an individual. 
  • The workplace provides job satisfaction which has an impact on interpersonal & social relationships. 
  • The workplace provides individuals with work culture, i.e. ethos & values, wrt work. If the work culture is compatible with the individual’s socialization, job satisfaction will be higher. E.g., a Boss or Group leader has to provide Paternalistic touch to his team because Indians are socialized to live in such a society. 

Values a person develops from Workplace are

  • Commitment
  • Diligence (persistent work)
  • Excellence
  • Team Spirit
  • Appreciation of  Diversity

How Workplace can develop certain Value in the Employees?

  • Reward: It is a good method to change attitude and behaviour but with three conditions attached 
    • Saliency: Reward must be visible
    • Valiance: Reward must be something which person wants (don’t give chocolate to diabetic person)
    • Contingency: Person must know what he should do to get the reward

Poor work culture in organizations is because of the absence of saliency, valiance & contingency in the reward system.

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