This article aims to improve both theoretically and empirically our understanding of the socialization process, a key topic in Social Sciences, but currently subject to scarce research. Firstly, the concept of socialization is discussed, drawing upon major sociological and anthropological traditions, contributions from emerging research streams, as well as relevant findings from Educational Sciences, Psychology and Neurosciences. Recognizing that all life experiences are meaningful to individuals’ socialization, the author argues that not all of them hold the same value. Secondly, the biographical approach to socialization used in this study is outlined. Thirdly, the main results of the project on the socialization of the working class in Portugal are presented. Finally, in the discussion section, the project findings are confronted with the results of other recent studies, focusing on three major (interconnected) catalysts of the socialization process: emotions, practices and (biographical) identities.
Key words: Sociology, life-history, dispositions, learning, education.