Anticipatory Socialization

The world we are living in today has by so far groomed us to have lots of expectations as well as anticipations. As we are growing up, we come across various things and people in life that either force us to admire emulating them or avoid them. The daily interactions between people and multiple activities have created socialization in the world at large. Anticipatory sociology, however, has been a topic of interest to me. The reason is that all of us as we live we tend to look forward to doing a particular activity immediately or later on in life. We also find ourselves looking forward to joining a specific field of interest be it sports, music industry or professional careers.


Anticipatory socialization is the process whereby members who do not belong to a particular group emulate the norms, values, and standards of a group. In most cases, the associated group is the one they aspire to join.  In sports, athletes always anticipate winning a gold medal. The way they interact among themselves is what gives them the drive to work harder. Teamwork and motivation from the team realize an outstanding performance (Cranmer and Myers, 2017). The emulation is purposed to make it easy for them to join that particular group and also mix appropriately with other group members after joining. Anticipatory socialization constitutes a change in an individual’s behavior when preparing for a movement in a particular new role. It may be in internship programs or full-time job opportunities (Dailey, 2016). Vocational anticipatory socialization is many at times associated with practices such as training, grooming, rehearsing and acting. Having to deal with rejection from members of a group one is anticipating to join compels them to reject the norms and values of that group (Powers and Myers, 2017). They are then forced to shift their social skills to other groups that are more welcoming. A relevant example is economically challenged people choosing to engage in crime as well as drug dealing. Even though society may view them as lacking self-drive, sociological studies argue that they are merely shifting towards available opportunities for them.

I always anticipated being a professional and renowned musician since I was 5. My father is a music teacher with highly notable achievements. I was however scared of singing before a group of people because I was afraid of receiving criticisms when it came to my vocals. It became a problem for me until when I was in 6th grade. Even though I was timid about presenting my items before people, I used to practice singing tirelessly. I did this when in the shower and when carrying out house chores. Deep inside myself, I knew that I was able to sing well, but I was not confident enough. It was until 6th grade that I decided to break free and present my voice to the public. I joined the school choir, but I still had the perception that they were better than me. Since I was a shy young man by nature, I received criticisms from other members of the choir and the reception was not very welcoming. This kind of reception killed my morale, and I refrained. Because I knew what I was aiming at, back home, I approached my father and requested him to be my voice coach. So we could train every evening together four times a week. Within a short period, my self-confidence had built up, and I was no longer scared to participate in the school choir. I advanced further, and I was even able to lead parade singing.

When I joined high school, I had already established a foundation by removing shyness. I started writing songs from scratch. In high school, several musical bands used to compete. The winning musical band received a free recording deal and other benefits like receiving invitations to perform on international fronts. I approached one musical group this time with full confidence that I was able to deliver effectively. I presented my original item, and they were impressed. The group’s voice coach took me in, and I became one of them. When competitions came, we were able to present our rehearsed songs, and  the coach entrusted me with being the group’s lead vocalist.  Our band was the best band by the time we were living high school. Here, I was seeing my dreams coming true. I had always wished to sing and be a good singer. My anticipation to join the musical group was as a result of my desire, goals and constant training. Even though I was shy, I still managed to live my dream. Until now, I am still practicing hard and tirelessly hoping that someday I will be the next big thing.

In conclusion, my musical journey was shaped by my social anticipations and interactions. From a sociological point of view, even though I was at first shy and scared, training together with others boosted my confidence. Joining the musical band as well as the school choir provided a social platform for me to better myself. I practiced tirelessly with the anticipation of making my band the best which came to pass later on. The mere fact that I had people believing in me gave me a chance to try out something new. Our social interactions very well determine how far we can go.




Cranmer, G. A., & Myers, S. A. (2017). Exploring Division-I student-athletes’ memorable messages from their anticipatory socialization. Communication Quarterly65(2), 125-143.

Dailey, S. L. (2016). What happens before full-time employment? Internships as a mechanism of anticipatory socialization. Western Journal of Communication80(4), 453-480.                                        1

Powers, S. R., & Myers, K. K. (2017). Vocational anticipatory socialization: college students’ reports of encouraging/discouraging sources and messages. Journal of Career Development44(5), 409-424.