so·​cial·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌsō-sh(ə-)lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce socialization (audio) \

Definition of socialization

1a : the process beginning during childhood by which individuals acquire the values, habits, and attitudes of a society But certainly dealing with shame and its boundaries is soon a constant factor in the socialization of the child, because standards and rules are everywhere …— Robert Karen The most important feature of culture is that it can be transmitted, and thus the young can acquire adaptive repertoires through the learning process or, in sociological terms, the socialization process.— David Mechanic
b : social interaction with others She also made spelling an exercise in socialization, by putting together children who did not seem predisposed to like each other.— Tracy Kidder With its idiosyncratic rhythms, rules and relationships, the coffee bar, these new workers say, has replaced the local bar as a place of socialization.— Kirk Johnson
c : exposure of a young domestic animal (such as a kitten or puppy) to a variety of people, animals, and situations to minimize fear and aggression and promote friendliness Some adult dogs, because of a lack of socialization combined with genetic tendencies, can never transfer certain individuals from the "unfamiliar" to the "familiar" category.Dog Watch
2 : the action or process of making something (such as an industry) socialistic : conversion to collective or governmental ownership and control the socialization of medicine In the case of Vietnam the exodus was also related to … the government's decision of March 1978 to close down privately run businesses. This was a move to accelerate the socialization of the economy …— T. E. Vedney

First Known Use of socialization

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of socialization was in 1839

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Cite this Entry

“Socialization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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variants: also British socialisation \ ˌsōsh-​(ə-​)lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce socialization (audio) \

Medical Definition of socialization

: the process by which a human being beginning at infancy acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training for adult status

More from Merriam-Webster on socialization

Britannica English: Translation of socialization for Arabic Speakers


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