Some of the major agents of an individual's socialization process include family, school, mass media and religion. These institutions serve as lenses through which individuals learn to become social beings by internalizing the social norms of his or her society.
The family is the primary agent of socialization. Typically the first group to which an individual belongs, the family functions as the primary agent of socialization by teaching gender roles, class position and conformity to the expectations of one's culture.
School also serves as an important agent of socialization by transmitting the values, norms, and cultural traditions of a society to its children. In general, school is also the first institution that introduces children to people of different classes, races, and cultural backgrounds.
Another powerful agent of socialization, the mass media, has a profound effect on an individual's socialization process by propagating cultural attitudes on a large scale. In this way, the media exert a profound effect on self-concept by projecting expectations associated with gender, race, and class.
Religion also functions as an influential socializing agent by conferring a culture's expectations of right and wrong onto the individual, thus socializing the individual according to the moral values of a society.