Accueil ::> PAGES PÉDAGOGIQUES ::> Sciences économiques et sociales ::> SES en Anglais ::> Sociology. The importance of primary socialization

Sociology. The importance of primary socialization

lundi 9 février 2009, par Nathalie Caulier .

Many of our behaviours seem natural : to walk, to talk, to smile… Sociology shows that an important part of what seems due to biological or genetic factors is in fact learned through the process of socialization. In order to illustrate the nature/culture debate and understand better the importance of primary socialization, the pupils have been shown two videos : one is a ITV broadcast about Romanian orphanages and the other is a Nova excerpt of the story of Genie, a « wild child », a 13 years old girl found in 1970 who had been kept secluded alone in a room for 10 years.

JPEG - 2.1 ko
JPEG - 3.4 ko

The pupils present here below their understanding on the matter.


In the first video we saw Romanian orphanages where orphans stayed in bed all day without any human contact. The result is too sad : they are not socialized and they can’t speak with others, and some develop malformations. In the second video we saw a girl who had stayed in a room for ten years without daylight. After she was discovered people wanted to re-socialize her but it was very difficult. She had no feelings, no muscles, even if she was thirteen she looked like a very little girl. That shows that socialization is very important for children otherwise they can have problems to live normally. The socialization of a baby is very important, after it’s too late. (Quentin Feret)

The primary socialization is extremely important to build and educate the child, as we were able to see in these two videos. A child who has not been socialized, doesn’t know how to stand as a human being, cannot speak. The children in the Romanian orphanage often suffer from malformation or disease. That shows that individual has to be to educated and must learn how to behave in front of other individuals. With these videos I understood the importance of socialization, be it primary or secondary because it is necessary to learn how to behave so as to become men or women. (Germond Hélène).

We saw two videos on the topic of socialization. The first one is called Romanian Orphans and Orphanages. It shows conditions in which the children who are in orphanages in Romania live. It is really ugly ! We can compare the children with animals. There is no sign of caring from the nurses towards the children : The children drink their nursing bottles alone in their bed. The second video is called The story of Genie. It deals with a wild child, Genie who had been locked up, in a room without light. Genie has not been socialized as other children. Primary socialization is the socialization during childhood (within the family, the nursery, at school, with friends and also mass media). Primary socialization is a key stage because it is going to structure the basic personality of the individual. It is important to get this primary socialization because otherwise the individuals would be as in these two videos, that is to say ignoring the others and the society. In the current society, it is really strange to see orphanages of this kind. (Marie Lecuyer).

We have seen two videos about children who haven’t had any primary socialization. The primary socialization is very important for the individual social construction. The first video is called Romanian Orphans and orphanages, some of the children can’t walk, they don’t cry, they don’t speak. The second video is called Secret of the wild child : The story of Genie. Genie is a girl who lived alone in a room during 10 years. Today she still has problems to communicate with people. In these two videos we have seen the importance to the primary socialization. (Marie Lepauvre).

In 1989, while millions of people were celebrating the fall of communism in Europe, they were stunned by the secret that began to emerge : the first video represents Romanian orphans and orphanages. We see children who aren’t socialized and they grow without smiling, without playing, without learning. This video is very sad. The second video is the story of Genie. Genie was found at the age of 13, her parents had left her alone in a little room for years. When she was found she couldn’t walk. After months of re -socialization, the young lady managed to have feelings : when the man who was in charge of her left her, she demonstrated for the first time a feeling of sadness. (Bastien Dugas)

We have watched two videos about the effects of improper socialization. The first video presented orphans let in a Romanian orphanage since their birth. Due to a lack of staff in the orphanage, the children haven’t got a normal life such as others children. Indeed, they stay all day in their bed, they don’t play, the little babies drink their feeding-bottles all by themselves and in the long term, some of them become mad. The second video presents a wild child : Genie. She was found in her bedroom when she was thirteen years old. Her father said « I let her in her bedroom because I thought she had a psychological problem » Then, Genie had a lot of difficulties to socialise with the others children. (Myriam Tiajdine)

In ESE class we’ve seen two videos which present wild children. The first video is about Romanian Orphans and Orphanages. In this video we can see orphans who are tied up in their beds, the nurses don’t talk to them and have no emotional contacts with them. Children never leave their beds, they can’t walk … And this induces malformations. The second video is about Gennie, she is a "new" wild child, "new" because she wasn’t found in the wild but she was found in her own house. Her parents enclosed her in a bedroom, they never talked to her. Her father believed she was abnormal. When the police discovered her, she was approximately 13 years old. The scientists who helped her, didn’t succeed in having her talk and after a while, she was placed in a specific institution. Some children who haven’t been properly socialized from their childhood, never become really "normal". That’s why primary socialization has an essential role. (Camille Roulleaux)