(i) Primary Socialisation:
This is the most essential and basic type of socialisation. It takes place in the early years of life of the newborn individual. It concentrates on the teaching of language and cognitive skills, the internalisation of cultural norms and values, establishment of emotional ties, and the appreciation of other roles and perspectives.
‘Internalisation of norms’ is the most important aspect of primary socialisation. Internalisation of norms refers to the process in which the norms of society become a part of the personality of the individual. The human child does not have a sense of right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, moral and immoral.
By trial and error, by direct and indirect observation, and experience, the child gradually learns the norms relating to right and wrong behaviour. The socialising agents reinforce the child’s learning by rewards and punishments or by means of approval and disapproval.
(ii) Anticipatory Socialisation:
Men not only learn the culture of the group of which they are immediate members. They may also learn the culture of groups to which they do not belong. Such a process whereby men socialise themselves into the culture of a group with the anticipation of joining that group, is referred to by socialogists like Merton as ‘anticipatory socialisation’.
A person who intends to join the army may start doing physical exercises to toughen his body and learning the manners of army personnel to become one with them later. People may be socialised into groups of which they are already members or into groups to which they wish to become attached. Socialisation is not a process that takes place merely in early childhood. On the other hand, it takes place at different times and places throughout life.
(iii) Developmental Socialisation:
This kind of learning is based on the achievements of primary socialisation. “It builds on already acquired skills and knowledge as the adult progresses through new situations such as marriage or new jobs. These require new expectations, obligations, and roles. New learning is added to and blended with old in a relatively smooth and continuous process of development”.
Not only do individuals change roles within groups, but they also change membership-groups. In some instances, ‘resocialisation’ -“the stripping away of learned patterns- and substitution of new ones for them”-must occur.
Such re-socialisation takes place mostly when a social role is radically changed. It may also happen in periods of rapid social mobility. For example, a newly wedded housewife may be forced to become a prostitute in a brothel. In this instance the social role of the individual got changed radically.