Socialization for Primary, Intimate, and Work Relationships in the Adult Life Course

  • Sharon E. Preves
  • Jeylan T. Mortimer
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


This chapter initially addresses conceptual and methodological approaches to socialization, followed by consideration of how individuals are socialized for adult primary relationships and intimacy, for parenting, for work, and for balancing work and family. Socialization processes are highlighted that promote the development of gender and sexual identities and intimate relationships, particularly in adolescence, a key period for relationship socialization. Socialization in stable relationship contexts, as well as that which occurs in the face of relationship dissolution, is addressed. In view of historical change in the workplace, socialization to work is examined in multiple settings: in families, in post-secondary educational settings, and in early occupational careers. The decline of job opportunities for young people has undermined anticipatory socialization processes in the work domain. Socialization for adult roles in general has become increasingly prolonged, individualized, and diverse as a result of the lengthened transition to adulthood and broad social and cultural change.


Gender Identity Intimate Relationship Sexual Identity Relationship Dissolution Sexual Socialization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Dianna Fielding for her invaluable editorial assistance.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyHamline UniversitySt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Life Course CenterUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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