Posted by / Sunday 10 July 2016 / No comments

The agents of political socialization

Workplace, Team, Business Meeting

Political socialization refers to the processes through which citizens of a country acquire the political beliefs, values, attitudes, and orientations of a political tradition as it is handed down to them by the society around them from generation to generation. 

The family
Political discussions at home among family members like mothers and fathers, uncles and aunties, cousins and other members of the extended family can attract an individual to the dominant political party to which members of the family belong. The younger ones tend to drift toward the political tradition that the family members belong to.

A lot of political discussions occur in schools, especially, in schools of higher learning. The opinions expressed during such discussions form the bases for the formation of the opinion of some or all the students who engage or listen to the political discussions. The school, therefore, provides the training environment that enables the individual to analyze political issues and form opinions.

Peer groups
Just as peers can influence friends to engage in certain negative or positive activities, being in the company of peers who hold certain political beliefs can determine which particular political tradition one belongs to. In short, peers are agents of political socialization.

Political Parties
One of the functions of political parties is to educate the electorate. In educating the people, therefore, the political parties provide a lot of information, ideological or otherwise and the information so provided serves as the bases of enticing others to their political tradition. So political parties serve as agents of political socialization.

The mass media
The mass media is another agent of political socialization. The media which includes newspapers, radio, and TV, broadcast political programmes which reach a wide range of people. The political discussions on such mass help to shape the political views of the electorate. 

1. a. What is political socialization?
    b. Highlight five agents of political socialization.

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