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Published on 2 Mar 2014
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
Explanatory questions
-how do people learn key political values and attitudes, which shape their political
-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
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