What are some contradictory lessons learned from different agents of socialization?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many kinds of contradictory lessons that we can learn from agents of socialization.  Sometimes, these lessons come from different agents, but other times the contradictions can come from the same agents of socialization.

Different agents of socialization can often send very different messages.  For example, churches are a major agent of socialization for many people.  They send messages that encourage young people to be less concerned with sex.  In the meantime, agents such as the media send messages that strongly suggest that sex is a dominant part of our lives.  This causes a tension when young people try to reconcile the messages being sent by their churches with those that they absorb from the media.

However, it is also possible for a single agent of socialization to teach contradictory lessons.  For example, parents often try to get their children to be more independent and to make decisions on their own.  On the other hand, parents will, at the same time, try to limit the choices that their children can make.  This can result in tension as parents try to simultaneously give their children more independence and limit what their children can do.