Evaluate the view that the family is the most important agency of socialisation? The essay title is asking me to debate whether the family is the most important agency of gender role socialisation or not. This means that throughout our lives while we learn gender role culture have we learnt it mainly from our family? There are many reasons why this claim is correct one reason is that your family has canalised you into gender role socialisation. This means that family members will channel you as a child towards activities and toys seen as appropriate for your sex.
For example girls will be taken to dance lessons particularly ballet as it is seen as being feminine whereas boys will be encouraged to do hands on, aggressive sports such as rugby as that is seen as being masculine. Another reason some think this claim is correct is because your family members when talking to you will use verbal appellation. This means that from an early age the different ways in which we talk to children will teach them how important gender role socialisation really is.
For example when a young girl cries after falling over parents or family members will instantly go up to her and console her saying “don’t cry princess” however if a boy falls over and cries the parents or family members will tell him to be a “soldier”. They will use “princess” as that is seen as being girly and feminine but a “soldier” is seen as rough ‘n’ tough; to society a perfect example of what a masculine man should be like. However this claim could be seen to be incorrect because there are many different agencies of gender role socialisation.
This means that during your life at different points different agencies will be more important. For example when you are a teenager the peer group is the most important agency compared to the family. Another reason this claim is wrong is because mass media is also an important agency of gender role socialisation. This is because in newspapers (for example) there will be hidden messages in the article. For instance whenever they talk about a female celebrity in the tabloids they always mention her age or pick on her appearance.
This can be hazardous to young girls because their gender role socialisation from newspapers will be that girls need to be extremely emaciated to look pretty and they will strive to lose weight which in most cases leads them to suffer from anorexia. Overall I can see there is more evidence to believe this claim is true because the family is the most important agency of primary socialisation and because they have such a big influence when you are younger that what they teach you about your gender will stick with you in later life than any of the other agencies of gender role socialisation.