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Anticipatory Socialization: Definition & Examples

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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

In this lesson, we will discuss anticipatory socialization. Learn more about the definition of anticipatory socialization and apply this information by reading several examples.

Example of Anticipatory Socialization

Jillian has always known that she wanted to be an adoptive parent. Having been adopted herself at the age of five, Jillian decided early on that she would adopt at least one child. Jillian and her husband decided that they would pursue adoption once they both found steady careers and purchased a house. Now that they are both successful and have promising careers, Jillian and her husband are ready to take the next step.

In order to prepare for adoption, Jillian has hired a lawyer who specializes in adoptions. She joined an online forum for new adoptive parents and chats with other families about their adoption experiences. Jillian and her husband also attend regular weekly meetings where they learn about the adoption process, what it's like to be adoptive parents, and how to prepare for parenthood. Jillian also started attending playgroups in her area. Jillian and her husband's preparation for becoming adoptive parents is an example of anticipatory socialization.

Definition of Anticipatory Socialization

So, what is anticipatory socialization? Anticipatory socialization is defined as accepting and incorporating the norms and values of a group that we anticipate joining in the future. Anticipatory socialization serves the purpose of providing a way for us to move into a group or role and easing the transition into the new group after we have become a member. Anticipatory socialization also allows us to evaluate whether or not the group or role is a good fit for us before we actually take on that role.

Jillian and her husband are anticipating that they will be adoptive parents soon. In order to prepare for their future role as adoptive parents, they have hired an adoption lawyer, met other adoptive parents, and attended weekly meetings. Their preparation provided them with valuable insight into what their future as adoptive parents would be like. They know the responsibilities associated with being adoptive parents, and the hurdles they will have to jump through to make the adoption official. Their preparation will also make it easier for them to make the transition into adoptive parents. Since they have the insight into the norms and values of adoptive parenting, Jillian and her husband can make an educated decision regarding whether or not adopting is right for their family.

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