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Milieu Attachment and Erosion as Problems of Individual Socialization (From Social World of Adolescents: International Perspectives, P 297-319, 1989, Klaus Hurrelmann and Uwe Engel, eds. -- See NCJ-120206)

NCJ Number
W Heitmeyer; K Moller
Date Published
23 pages
The milieu theory approach indicates that societal individualization tendencies affect socialization processes and opportunities for focusing social interests according to the context in which people live.
Spatial limitations and concrete daily conditions of social interaction, which encompass homogenous milieus and various socialization fields, are eroding due to pressure from societal individualization tendencies. Socialization fields as such, being limited by spatial conditions of daily life, seem to be losing their socializing effect. A new quality of socialization contexts is emerging that is referred to by the term "socialization horizons." The emergence of socialization horizons is the result of a societal development that causes the dissolution of milieu borders and serves to dissolve small-scale daily relationships with their idealized continuity through a demand for mobility and flexibility, urbanization, media expansion, and increasing judicial and fiscal influence on social relations. New ways of constructing social identity are also emerging. Because these new patterns are essentially directed toward the atomized individual, it seems logical to assume that motives for continuous collective strategies will lose importance with respect to changes in the "dark side" of individualization tendencies and with respect to advantages in the individualization process as regards the pluralization of opportunities for creating an autonomous lifestyle. 48 references.


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