Chapter%202 - POL 413 assignment: Complete the exercises in...

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POL 413 assignment: Complete the exercises in this chapter. Type up your answers and submit them in class on Friday, September 24 th . The answers to the open-ended questions should be well-written. Be prepared to discuss in class on Friday. (Group work is not allowed. Each student should do his or her own work. If students have any questions, please contact Prof. Clawson.) 2 2 P OLITICAL S OCIALIZATION How old were you when you first had views about government and politics? Were you in your teens? Ten years old? Or even younger? Most likely, your political opinions began to form early in life, during your childhood. The political outlooks of elementary schoolchildren generally focus on objects such as the nation and the flag as well as the president and other highly visible political leaders. Typically, these views are positive, with younger children evaluating the United States favorably and believing that the president is a good person. As children grow older, these attitudes become less positive for many of them. Furthermore, other types of opinions, such as party affiliation or views toward specific policy issues and social groups, begin to form in adolescence. Political socialization is the development of political attitudes. More specifically, it is “the process by which people acquire relatively enduring orientations toward politics in general and toward their own particular political systems.” 1 During childhood and adolescent 1
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socialization, one’s political opinions are influenced by a variety of people and institutions, such as family, peers, the media, and schools. In this chapter, we focus on one very important agent of socialization—parents—and their role in shaping the fundamental political attitude of party identification. While socialization begins in childhood, this process can, and often does, continue throughout one’s lifetime. Certainly some people enter adulthood with fully formed opinions that remain relatively stable. More commonly, however, views developed during childhood and adolescence do change as people age. There are many reasons for this, including those that accompany aging as well as responses to specific political events. Later in this chapter, we will explore three specific adult socialization processes: life cycle, generational, and period effects. First, though, let’s focus on parents. Parental Socialization It might surprise you to know that socialization scholars long assumed parents exert a strong influence on the political opinions of their children. If so, perhaps it shouldn’t. In some households, children are exposed to their parents’ discussions of political matters, even participating in those discussions as they grow older. A similarity in attitudes can result. Parents also pass on nonpolitical outlooks and values that are related to political opinions, such as a preference for order and stability that can lead to political conservatism. In the 1960s socialization scholars demonstrated that the political attitudes of adolescents
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2011 for the course POL 413 taught by Professor Clauson during the Fall '10 term at Purdue.

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Chapter%202 - POL 413 assignment: Complete the exercises in...

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