Essay Example on Political socialization can be defined as the Processes

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Political socialization can be defined as the processes through which individuals acquire their beliefs and values about the political world Danziger and Smith 86 Being that people are not born with political ideas this means we learn them which begins in early life and is an ongoing process We are influenced by many factors including family schools peer groups media culture and events Some of these influences have a greater impact than others on our own personal beliefs and prepare us to take our place within society Our belief systems evolve and change and some may modify their political views many times due to a variety of factors they may encounter during their lifetime Family plays a major if not the most important role in political socialization due to their early access to influence and the fact that their viewpoints are naturally accepted the child therefore tends to identify with his parents and to adopt their outlook toward the political system Davies 10 Since a child will spend most of their time with family than anyone else that the child will most likely acquire their family s attitudes beliefs habits and or behaviors since there isn't much in the way of outside influence A child may not understand why he or she holds certain ideals but since they were raised surrounding a particular belief system then it's almost ingrained in them thus often people end up with political beliefs that are similar to their parents

It's not until one encounters other factors and becomes more independent that they may start questioning their initial beliefs and begin to venture out to adopt accept alternate ideas Schools are another a crucial agent in the development of political socialization as it is the first large scale organization of which the child becomes a member Nezanna This is where a child is exposed to a variety of political beliefs from other people such as teachers and friends More importantly the teacher is the authority figure who rewards thinking and behavior that conform to what is deemed desirable by the society and who sanctions or withholds rewards from those who fail to conform Danziger and Smith 89 However as students we re taught from a young age what educational authorities deem appropriate which means we re unavoidably taught from a bias perspective As we enter adulthood and surround ourselves with co workers or the people we meet by joining various groups church organizations Facebook etc our beliefs are further influenced by adopting viewpoints behavior patterns and attitudes of others Unlike interactions with family and school where a teacher or family member is the one exercising authority a peer group allows people whom are at similar levels of maturity to interact with one another As a result direct communications from peers allow for a rich exchange of political information because such political messages have the immediacy credibility and power of personal interaction Danziger and Smith 90 People tend to gravitate towards those that hold similar beliefs and values in order to strengthen their personal opinions and lessen the possibility for conflict of interests



However given all the ways in which people surround themselves with others religion is arguably more influential than any other peer group due to its ability to guide and motivate their followers People in some environments are so disillusioned with the conditions of their society that they look to religion for a framework of beliefs and actions to improve these conditions Danziger and Smith 94 Mass media and culture is another agent for socialization which is intended to reach a great amount of people at once During a time when people are communicating less in face to face interactions with peers and family members and more via technology i e Internet cell phones tablets there is an abundant amount of information people are surrounding themselves with in which to formulate new or expand on beliefs In addition to these technological avenues the media which includes newspapers television radio and broadcast political programs also report on current and political events The media much like information found online skews stories in a manner such that it persuades a viewer or listener to believe their message to be true Suffice it to say Media are first and foremost profit driven entities that are not mandated to be civic educators they balance their public service imperative against the desire to make money

Moreover unlike teachers journalists do not have formal training in how to educate citizens about government and politics as a result the news often can be more sensational than informative American Government and Politics in the Information Age 226 Events which can be assimilated with the media are another important agent that affect adult political attitudes While the context of everyday life has slow evolutionary effects on a person's political behavior a specific event can act as a sudden and powerful agent of political socialization Danziger and Smith 95 A person may hold a certain view towards a particular subject but then an event may occur that shifts and changes their opinion People are influenced by the world around them and such an event can have a direct impact on one's life For example someone who previously advocated for less strict gun control legislation may change their beliefs and advocate for stricter gun control due to a mass shooting reported on by the media Political standards attitudes values and norms are inaugurated into an individual's mind from the time they are a child and continue throughout their entire life through the process of indoctrination It would be nearly impossible to escape political socialization influences because they are everywhere from family to religious groups to everyday events taking place around us Everyone has had different encounters during their lives coming into contact with diverse people and situations but this is the reason there will always be varying viewpoints and opinions with regard to politics the reason the political system perpetuates


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