Political Socialization

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The political socialization of the U.S. electorate adds to the Madisonian Model.

So what is Political Socialization? Our text book explains it as the way people acquire their political beliefs and values: often including their party identification, through relationships with their families, friends, and co-workers. To put it more simply, it’s our experiences with our parents, friends, school and society. It’s what we were taught in school about patriotism, and being civic minded. It’s also how our morality judges those experiences and is shaped by those experiences. Political Socialization is how we express ourselves in daily politic or if we express ourselves at all. It’s who and what we align ourselves with in order to feel we have a voice for our concerns in the larger public. The who, is usually a political party that we feel best represents our political believes and standpoints.

There are several key elements in determining the level of political socialization which are important to outline. Political knowledge: just how much do you know about whom represents you and the current issues? People with high political socialization will generally know whom their representatives are in government and have at least a modest understanding of the major issues. They also know how to find out more about individual issues. How much do you discuss current issues with people: family members, friends, acquaintances? People with a high political socialization tend to discuss political issues that are important to them more than people with very little political socialization.

Political Efficacy: what is your sense about your ability to impact government? Do you believe that if you get involved you can achieve your goal? Or do you believe that your voice will have no effect on current affairs. People with higher political socialization tend to feel that sense of efficacy. That if they get involved they can achieve their desired outcome. They...
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