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POLITICAL CULTURE AND SOCIALIZATION.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLI 201
Professor
Jay Makarenko
Semester
Fall

Description
• POLITICAL CULTURE AND SOCIALIZATION • • October 3  • • 1. introduction to political socialization • 2. normative question: socialization or manipulation • 3. case studies: political parties and media  • • Concept of political socialization • Definition: the means by which political culture is transmitted from one generation to  another. • • Explanatory questions • ­how do people learn key political values and attitudes, which shape their political  behavior? • ­when and how do people become interested in politics and decide to engage in  political life? • • Key Agents of Political Socialization  • ­ social groups: family; friends • ­ Educational institutions: POLI201 • ­ Religious Institutions: church, temple, mosque • ­ Political Institutions: government; political parties; candidates  • ­ Mass Media: news, political commentary, film and music  • ­ today we are going to examine political parties and the mass media agents of  political socialization  • • Normative Question • ­ is political socialization a completely benign process? Or are there right and wrong  ways to engage in political socialization • • Socialization and Power • ­ political socialization overlaps with ideas about power. Getting people to believe  something that then impacts their political behavior. • ­ Just as we can discuss morally or politically permissible ways of exercising power,  we can discuss permissible ways of socialization people • • Value of voluntarism  • voluntarism: claim that it is preferable for people to “voluntarily” choose to do  something that to “force” them to do it • ­ authority: people voluntarily obey because they were rationally persuaded to do so  • ­ influence (appeals to intellect): persons voluntarily obey because they were  rationally persuaded to do so  • non­voluntarism: forcing someone to do something against their will.  • ­ coercion: (harm or threat of harm): often rejected as the primary motivation for  citizens political behaviors • Manipulation and non­rational appeals • ­ what about other form of power (and socialization) that blur the line between  voluntarism and manipulation? • Influence (manipulative rational appeals): appealing to intellect, but using  manipulative lines of reasoning – fraud • influence (appeals to emotion): appealing not to intellect, but to people’s emotions  and psychological tendencies • >we may consider these forms of power (and socialization) as highly manipulative  and inconsistent with the ideas of voluntarism in our actions  • • Political Parties and Political Socialization  • concept of political parties • ­political associations that organize for the purpose of contesting elections ad wining  government power • ­ e.g. : liberal part, conservative, MDP, Green party , BLOC  • View #1: passive actors • ­ political parties are passive entities that simply mirror the political views and ideas  of segments of society • ­ they are this beneficial as benign instruments of communicating views and ideas  between citizens  • Political Parties and Manipulation  • view #2: active in socialization • ­not passive actors, but play an active role in shaping citizens political views and  beliefs  • ­actively attempt to persuade citizens to adopt certain viewpoints or issues  • concern: voter manipulation • ­ 
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