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World of Higher Education: A Socialization -- Theoretical Perspective (From Social World of Adolescents: International Perspectives, P 87-105, 1989, Klaus Hurrelmann and Uwe Engel, eds. -- See NCJ-120206)

NCJ Number
J C Weidman
Date Published
19 pages
This article develops a conceptual framework for understanding salient elements of the socialization process in institutions of higher education.
The framework builds on both psychological and sociostructural concepts, drawing upon sociological notions of the socialization process in adolescence and adulthood and upon approaches to addressing the importance of social structure in socialization and personality development. Important conceptual dimensions of the socialization process are discussed, with particular attention paid to characteristics of both individuals and institutions that are likely to enhance the influence of the higher education experience on students. The framework considers socializing influences experienced by students from a variety of sources, both within and external to higher education institutions. Even though emphasis is placed on sociostructural aspects of socialization, interpretive perspectives that focus more on individual student perceptions of the higher education environment and less on structural aspects of socialization are incorporated, where appropriate, in developing the conceptual framework. It is suggested that a conceptual framework may be necessary to represent differing patterns of socialization experienced by student members of ethnic and gender groups. 85 references, 1 figure.


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