AP®︎/College US Government and Politics
Explore how political socialization shapes attitudes by examining factors like family, friends, school, and media. Discover the significant impact of family on political leanings through a study on intergenerational resemblance in partisan orientation, highlighting the influence of our environment on our political perspectives.
Want to join the conversation?
- Yes, our backgrounds influence our beliefs and political views, but why don’t people take the time to think and develop their own views based on them?(9 votes)
- Why do we continue to adopt our parents political views even when we are adults and can form our own opinions?(7 votes)
- It all comes down to what some political scientist call the "impressionable years hypothesis"—an argument that political experiences during the late teens and early 20s (where you may adopt your parent's political opinions) powerfully shape attitudes for the rest of the life cycle. (Though this may not always be the case.)(7 votes)
- How much is the media going to change political socialization for younger generations? Nearly everyone over the age of 10, and many people younger have the internet, which is full of every political ideology imaginable. Will there be more extremists or just a greater level of diversity?(4 votes)
- I don't know about the future but as of now, the evidence suggests that your first guess(more extremists) is true.
In fact, the main reason for deeper ideological division is the internet. See, many people felt that the internet, which is full of every political ideology imaginable, as you said, would make people view different viewpoints, leading to open-mindedness and diversity. In reality though, very few people watch and read different viewpoints because, let's face it, we are all biased. It is more satisfying and fun and less mentally taxing to hear and believe viewpoints which you already agree with, while hearing other viewpoints may make one feel vulnerable and even offended. This is called the confirmation bias and is responsible for the creation of a variety of hyper-ideological rabbit-holes.
Another crucial factor is the attention economy and digital algorithms which implement the attention economy. On the internet, you do not need to have a diverse audience to be successful. You only need a large and engaged audience and the shortcut to achieving that is using caustic language. For example, if you dislike the mayor of your city, which tweet would you be be more likely to retweet?
a)"The Mayor must clarify his infrastructure plan."
b)"The Mayor is so dumb he thinks the city is his personal playground."
Obviously b right? So what will happen is that the second tweet will get more likes and retweets and there will be a huge fight between the mayor's supporters and opponents in the comments and in the end, no one is informed at all.
This is how the internet has caused political socialization.(9 votes)
- Why does the government think its alright to ban abortions when woman should have the right to our own bodys and our rights to have as many kids as we like. I feel like the government has been not protecting peoples rights(2 votes)
- The government protects certain peoples rights when it feels like it. However, it doesn't feel like protecting basic healthcare for women right now.(1 vote)
- What is the difference between direct and indirect socialization? (with examples) Is schooling direct or indirect socialization?(1 vote)
- Direct socialization is when the government is actively involved in influencing the citizens to conform to some standard. Indirect socialization is simply when humans conform to what others due around them. Please note that socialization is not always a good thing: just because others (or even everyone) are/is doing something does not mean it is the right thing to do.
Hope this helps.(2 votes)
- how is culture factors influence political attitudes and socialization?(1 vote)
- I have a basic understanding of what it (obviously states) to be politically independent, but can someone give me a deeper explanation of what that would entail?(1 vote)
- [Instructor] What we're going to do in this video is think about how a person's environment or experiences affects their political perspective, their political attitude. So one way to think about it is how is your socialization, your political socialization? How does that drive your political attitudes? And I encourage you pause this video, think about your own political leanings whether you lean to the left or you lean to the right, where did that come from? Was it just you in a vacuum thinking about things or were you influenced by your family, your friends, your school, maybe the media, maybe something that you're part of, maybe a club or church, mosque, synagogue or temple and this is actually an area of study for political scientists and as you can imagine, some of the things that I just mentioned are significant factors that people have studied in terms of what develops people's political attitudes? If you come from a family of staunch Democrats, you're more likely to be a Democrat or at least lean to the left. If the environment of your school or what you're exposed to in school leans one way or another, you are likely, more likely to lean in that direction. If your friends go one direction or another, that could be a very powerful influence. Obviously, what you're exposed to in the media and out of all of these, the one that's maybe the most studied is the notion of family and to appreciate this idea, let's look at this diagram right over here. So I encourage you to pause the video and see if you can make sense of this before we do that together. Alright, it says Percentage Intergenerational Resemblance in Partisan Orientation and this date is from 1992. So it shows three different scenarios, one scenario where we are looking at folks where both parents are Democrats, another scenario where we're looking at folks where both parents are Republicans and then another scenario where there's no consistent partisanship among parents so either they are split or maybe they are independent and actually, if we look at this third scenario first, you see that it's a pretty symmetrical distribution. Green shows, of people whose parents showed no partisan preference, 17% are pure independent, about 18% lean towards the Democrats, 16% lean to the Republican. That's about the same. 14% are weak Democrats. 14% are weak Republicans. 10% are strong Democrats. 10% are strong Republicans. So it's a pretty balanced distribution here but then if you look at the scenario where both parents are Democrats, you see that of those folks, only, what is this? This is eight plus six is 14 plus seven. Only 21% are Republicans. And if you go the other way where both parents are Republicans, you have only 18% of those folks become Democrats. So this is just interesting food for thought. A lot of us really like to believe, including myself, that hey, I've come to all of these conclusions based on completely impartial thoughts about how the world should be but we are influenced by our environment and especially from our family and frankly, even the folks who go in a different direction than their families, that might have been because of their family. Maybe they decide that hey, that always frustrated me one way or the other so I'm gonna go the other way or I'm gonna rebel a little bit and I'm gonna go the other way because I am a free thinker but even in that situation, you are being influenced by your environment.