The Best Definition of Socialization

The Best Definition of Socialization

It’s been a while since I’ve heard comments about how homeschooled kids miss out on socialization. Perhaps the message is getting through and we homeschoolers not so strange after all.

However, this is – hands down – the best definition of socialization that I have ever read. It’s from Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s book Flow, which I have mentioned on this blog before.

He says about socialization:

The essence of socialization is to take make people dependent on social controls, to make them respond predictably to rewards and punishments. And the most effective form of socialization is achieved when people identify so thoroughly with the social order that they can no longer imagine themselves breaking any of the rules.

He goes on.

A thoroughly socialized person is one who desires only the rewards that others around him have agreed he should long for… He may encounter thousands of potentially fulfilling experiences but he fails to notice them because they are not the things he desires. What matters is not what he has now, but what he might obtain if he does as others want him to do. Caught in a treadmill of social controls, that person keeps reaching for a prize that always dissolves in his hands.

Tell that to anyone who asks about proper socialization of your kids.

You can buy Flow here.

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Author: Purva Brown

Writer / blogger at - unapologetically blending two seeming opposites.

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