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Political socialization is a concept concerning the “study of the developmental processes by which children and adolescents acquire political cognition, attitudes and behaviors” (Davidson, 2009, p. 20).
Agents of Socialization
These Agents of Socialization all influence in one degree or another an individual's political opinions: Family, Media, Friends, Teachers, Religion, Race, Gender, Age, Geography, etc. These factors and many others that people are introduced to as they are growing up will affect their political views throughout the rest of their lives. Most political opinions are formed during childhood. Many Political Ideas are passed down from Parents to young Adults through them expressing their beliefs.
The agents a child surrounds him/herself with during childhood are crucial to the child's development of future voting behaviors. Some of these agents include:
- Family: Glass et al. (1986) recognizes family (1) as a primary influence in the development of a child’s political orientation, mainly due to constant relationship between parents and child
2. Schools: Most influential of all agents, after the family, due to the child's extended exposure to a variety of political beliefs, such as friends and teachers, both respected sources of information for students.
3. Mass Media: Becker et al. (1975) argue that the media (2) functions as a political information-giver to adolescents and young children.
4. Religion: Religious tradition can have a strong effect on someones political views. For example, Protestants tend to be more conservative.
5. Political Parties: Scholars such as Campbell (1960) note that political parties (3) have very little direct influence on a child due to a contrast of social factors such as age, context, power, etc.
6. Work Place
References & Bibliography
- L.B. Becker, M. M. (1975). Family traditions. In S. C. (ed), Political Communication: Issues and strategies for research (pp. 126–139). New York: Praeger.
- Campbell, C. M. (1960). The American Voter. New York: John Wiley.
- Powell, L. (2003). Political Socialization: The development of Political Attitudes. In L. Powell, Political Campaign Communication: Inside and Out (p. 20). Birmingham: University of Alabama.
- J. Glass, V. B. (1986). Attitude similarity in three generational families: Socialization, status inheritance, or reciprocal influence? American Sociological Review , 685-698.
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