Factors of Political Socialization and Its Real Examples

There are several main factors of political socialization. The family is the first and foremost source of political views. Schools from the middle school level up to the college one and higher are another avenue of political socialization. The activity of mass media and political parties are factors of political socialization. If you are researching examples of political socialization, one area for analysis may be to find out whether social media actually affects political views or its greatest impact can be seen just in mobilization of voters who might otherwise stay home. Another topic for a paper on political socialization is whether the customizable nature of the Internet has allowed people to create their own "thought bubbles", excluding competing political views essentially and finding reinforcement of almost any political stance online, no matter how many people have agreed.

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The role of the workplace in political socialization is less prevalent in the United States but more common in other nations. Some of the major examples of political socialization is the necessity in nation-states like China or the former Soviet Union to provide admission to certain professions relating, for example, to teaching or to managerial jobs and guaranteed by the Communist Party membership. If you need to write a paper on political socialization, you could search for the professions with the political affiliations.

Peers rarely affect one's political views. This can be due to the fact that we choose friends who share our values. Or it is because the influence which your friends have on your life style can be accepted more easily than the possible alterations of your opinion on different political issues in general. For example, you may change your dietary preferences because you like those of your friend. But the discussion of such a controversial topic as politics can be shut down due to the possibility of clash of your and your friend’s interests. Friends may simply choose to focus their discussions on current events, entertainment news and other more pleasurable issues, essentially excluding politics from many peer group talks.

Digging Deeper into the Notion of Political Socialization

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As the name suggests, the idea of political socialization is related to the spheres of both politics and social life and can be regarded as the product of their constant and self-evident interconnection and interdependence. Although in most sources it is defined only as a process of acquiring certain political views and beliefs by one person, this notion can be also treated as a result or rather a consequence of such constant acquisition of political values.

Let’s make out what it all can mean.

Political Socialization as a Process

Well, it is not as complex as it may seem at first sight. Scientists agree on the fact that this process takes its roots from quite early childhood and is actually inherent in the whole life of each person who lives in what is considered to be a country, with its government, laws, courts and other essential elements. So, political socialization is caused by the influence which our families, teachers, friends and all news, if speaking roughly, have on forming our individual opinions on politics and everything that can be related to it.

Political Socialization as a Result

On the other hand, as soon as you can claim that you have fully realized what your political values and preferences are, you can consider yourself as a politically socialized person. Of course, they are likely to change greatly as time goes by. You can never know how different the political situation in your country will be in 10 years. Besides, you may move to another country that has absolutely different government system and laws. So, your political consciousness will be also altered by all those various aspects which you will face during all your life.

Is Political Socialization Actually a General or a Personal Issue?

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Mostly, it concerns individual considerations and position of each person. However, at the same time, certain political systems or regulations have their supporters and opponents. In its turn, such an undeniable fact can imply that political socializations (the plural number is used deliberately here) of different people must have something in common. This something can explain why we group around particular political ideas and views or stick to particular concepts of reasonable, effective, human-oriented politics (underline what applicable).

So, indeed, there are some general criteria or principles (call them as you like) that can help to determine and characterize our political socialization, shedding some light on the question why we may tend to take this or that side of political life in the country where we live. Let’s have a look at them.

Some Words About the Role of Gender

Carol Gillian, a famous American sociologist and psychologist, got interested in the possible differences between the ways boys and girls perceive the notion of morality, and, consequently, how these differences may determine their attitudes towards politics and hence their future political views and preferences.

The scientist found out that boys focus more on laws and rules. That is to say, they are justice-oriented. Gillian explains that what boys are naturally socialized for is working environment, so rules and regulations can provide an effective mechanism for productive work. Girls pay more attention to such things as care and responsibility, which can guarantee harmony required by their natural “instinct” of caretaking and nurturing.


These are actually those powers which cause, determine and control your political socialization. When listing them, it would be better not to consider how positive or negative their impact can be. What we should stick to is just the evidence, impartial and scientifically proved:

  • families;
  • educational establishments (schools, colleges, universities);
  • mass media;
  • the circle of friends, group mates, colleagues.

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