One of the earliest forms of political influences in a person’s life is built in the home. A child begins to learn about morals and values at a very young age by the defining of “right and wrong”. The authoritative figure in the home is usually the primary factor in this. As a child grows up, most of the moral decision making is based on the example he or she has been given. Opinions are formulated off of these values. Imitation is also a basis of foundation for the development of personal decision making and beliefs. The child sees and hears the actions and opinions of its guardian and begins to replicate them. What has been taught as “right” is now a fundamental element in the child’s belief system. Since values are a significant part of political standpoint, these early stages in a person’s individual mental and moral growth is crucial to the reasoning behind the subtlety in political socialization.
Family as an agent of socialization incorporates more than just the teaching of value. The structure of the family and its economic standing becomes a tool in developing political opinion. A key factor in choosing a political standpoint is personal gain. If a family that is less fortunate and dependent on assistance from the government recognizes the Democratic Party as more beneficial and efficient in aiding their needs, this reflects in their overall political opinion, which in turn translates into an influential mark on the children. The involvement, as a household, in politics plays a role on a child developing an opinion about whether they, too, will be an active part of politics or whether they will cultivate an apathetic attitude towards the system.
When children enter the school system, a new form of authority begins to play a key role in their thought process. Administrators put in the school system have already developed a standpoint on their beliefs and whether intentional or not, undertones of their beliefs are displayed to the children they teach....
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