ap gov study guides

⚖️  Unit 2: Interactions Among Branches of Government

🗳  Unit 5: Political Participation

4.2 Political Socialization



⏱️  1 min read

written by

isabela padilha vilela

June 7, 2020


Political Socialization is the process in which people develop their political values, beliefs, attitudes and ideology. It is a process that is continuous, which means it happens throughout one’s life. In the U.S there are many different cultures and backgrounds, which contributes to a high variety of perspectives. Through the construction of beliefs (religious, economic, ethnical, etc.) and the participation in groups, individuals mature their own political values. 

Socializing Agents

There are four main elements in people’s lives that define their socialization process: family, school, peers, and media. 📺

Type of socializing agent 


  • Family

The Family is one of the strongest socializing agents due to the fact that a family’s attitudes towards their community and issues tends to shape an individual's opinions. In summary, people usually follow the political ideology of their parents. 

  • School 

The School is an important agent due to the fact that American schools picture presidents as heroic figures. Schools try to follow the goal of building the citizens of America. 

  • Peers 

Friends and Peers can easily shape the way one sees life as they can determine social norms, attitudes, and behaviors that shape an individual’s perspective about politics. 

  • Media 

The exposure of the media, which informs citizens of other people’s behaviors, can shape the way people form their opinions. Selective exposure consists of choosing access to media one agrees with, and avoiding to see what one disagrees.

Watch Fatima Raja discuss political socialization here!

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