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Word Count: 2,360
People are not born with political ideas nor do we manufacture them We learn them through a process called political socialization Beginning in early childhood and throughout our lives we are exposed to a variety of individuals and groups known as agents for political socialization These individuals or groups teach us about their political opinions and the workings of the political system Some of these agents have a greater impact on our independent personal beliefs than others Agents for political socialization include our families schools peer groups media and secondary groups Family The family plays a major role as an agent for political socialization because it has the earliest access and most influence Through parents children can feel a sense of belonging to a particular political party This feeling of belonging can become very resistant to change throughout their adult lives When parents discuss theyre political opinions in the home their children absorb this information and tend to adopt their views Schools The schools do not play an important role in influencing individuals opinion however they provide political education within a neutral environment Schools generally teach children the values of the community in which they live The provide children with civics classes and many socializing experiences In civics classes children are taught how to comprehend and participate in the political world They are taught many of the rituals and symbols of government This produces in many children a supportive attitude toward the government Peer Groups As children grow older and spend less time in the home with their parents peer groups begin to play an important role They become a major social influence as people tend to identify with their peer groups Peer groups have the most impact when they get involved with political discussions andor activities These discussion andor activities can be a major cause for change in an individuals political concerns and opinions Media
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