AN INQUIRY INTO THE PROCESS OF CHILD'S RELIGIOUS SOCIALIZATION WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF FAMILY INSTITUTION

Abstract

Author(s): Pelin NDER EROL, Belgin ARSLAN CANSEVER

It is through the socialization process that the individual becomes a member of the society in which he/she lives by learning its traditions, customs, values, norms, rules and native language. Throughout this process, the individual learns and internalizes interpersonal behavioural patterns and beliefs by means of social roles. The individual who has been socialized, develops a sense of belonging to the society, in other words he/she becomes a full member of it. The process begins within the family which bridges between individual and society and is defined as an informal education institution. As a primary agent of socialization, family has a deep influence upon individual’s life. In this context, childhood period is of a critical importance for socialization period. This is due to the fact that the child learns the very first social experiences by observing the relationships between family members and by experiencing them personally. Being in an interaction with society, family provides an environment with a substantial content for the child, besides it has an internal dynamics surrounded by its distinctive rules. Likewise, a significant part of religious education is provided by the family to the child who, in turn, develops an attitude toward religion through experiencing a profound interaction within the family relationships. Throughout this interactive process with senior members of the family, the child learns prayers and takes the opportunity for participating religious rituals and other religious practices. This study aims at dealing with the functions of family institution in the process of religious socialization of the child from a sociological perspective.

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