Difference Between Socialization and Orientation

Key Difference – Socialization vs. Orientation


 

Socialization and orientation are two processes that take place in any society, between which a key difference can be identified. All of us undergo through the socialization process as we become part of the society. Orientation, however, is a bit different from socialization although it is also a form of introduction to a particular context. You may have heard of orientation programs being held in organizations and even at universities or similar places. The intention of these programs is to familiarize the individual with the context. When engaging in a comparison between socialization and orientation one can highlight the key difference between them as that while socialization encapsulates the entity of the society, orientation is limited only to a particular context such as an organization.

What is Socialization?

Socialization refers to a process through which the individual becomes familiarized to the society and social group. In every society from the beginning of human history the socialization took place. However, the socialization process differs from one society to another mainly because of the values that each society upholds. For instance, while a child in a tribal society may be taught specific values, these may be completely different from that of another society.

Socialization process begins from childhood itself. Hence, the primary socialization agent becomes the immediate family of the child. This process not only focuses on the conscious learning process that the child undergoes as the parents teach the child what is correct and what is wrong. It also includes the unconscious learning process as well where the child internalizes what he notices in the world around him. There are many social agents that assist this process such as the family, school, religion, etc. These agents internalize the values, mores, laws, accepted behavior, traditions and customs in the young child.

Difference Between Socialization and Orientation

What is Orientation?

Orientation refers to a process through which the individual is introduced to the new environment. Orientation programs take place in institutions and organizations in order to familiarize the new employees to the organizational setting. It is important to bear in mind that although the person is socialized in the societal setting, through orientation the individual is introduced to a subcultural setting.

This can be well understood by the orientation programs that take place in universities. The students are not only introduced to the courses that they will be following but also to the university subculture. As you can see, there is a clear difference between socialization and orientation. This can be summarized as follows.

Key Difference - Socialization vs Orientation

What is the difference between Socialization and Orientation?

Definitions of Socialization and Orientation:

Socialization: Socialization refers to a process through which the individual becomes familiarized to the society and social group.

Orientation: Orientation refers to a process through which the individual is introduced to the new environment.

Characteristics of Socialization and Orientation:

Context:

Socialization: Socialization takes place through all social institutions.

Orientation: Orientation takes place in specific places such as institutions, organizations, etc.

Intention:

Socialization: The intention is to familiarize the individual with the societal values, norms, mores, customs, etc. in order to internalize the socially accepted behaviors into the individual.

Orientation: Orientation intends to introduce the individual to the setting so that he begins to be aware of the rules, regulations, accepted the behavior, ethics, etc.

Inception:

Socialization: Socialization begins from childhood itself.

Orientation: Orientation begins when the individual enters the setting.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. “Duck Duck Goose” by Ragesoss – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Commons

2. “Training meeting in a ecodesign stainless steel company in brazil” by Alex Rio Brazil – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Commons