The concept of political socialization is important to know how political culture is formed in different societies and how the political values, beliefs, and attitudes of the people prevail over different generations. Those values or beliefs expand to the new generation through some agents of political socialization.
With the death of various members of a group, the political culture of the group does not die. The new members of the group maintain their political culture. From their childhood, they learned, embraced, and obeyed the political values or beliefs of society.
Political socialization is the process of learning, embracing, and maintaining the flow of political values.
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Meaning of Political socialization
The process by which a person integrates with the political culture of the society gains knowledge of the political values, ideals, and beliefs of the society and acquires a social and political nature is called political socialization.
Through political socialization, the individual acquires knowledge of his political system, unites with his society, determines the political choice of the individual, and plays the role of a citizen of his or her state.
Characteristics of Political Socialization
There some features of political socialization. These are:
- Political socialization is the pinnacle of a society’s political values or culture. Any education, therefore, is not political socialization.
- The purpose of political socialization is to educate and enhance the members of the society politically, to see them become effective members of the political society, and to preserve the continuity of the political values of the society.
- Early childhood is an important time for political socialization. But this is not limited to a few years of childhood. Political socialization continues throughout the life of the individual.
- Political socialization occurs mainly in three ways – imitation, instruction, and motivation. Imitation tendency is more prevalent in children, whereas adolescents and adults have a combination of imitation, instruction, and motivation.
- Through the process of political socialization, the increase in support, support for the prevailing political system, the values in favor of conventional institutions, the legitimacy of the government are increased.
- All persons belonging to a political society are subject to political socialization and are effective throughout their lives.
Agents of Political Socialization
Few organizations play an important role in the context of political socialization. These are called as agents of political socialization. They are also identified as the means of political socialization. These are:
- Intimate Friend’s Group
- Educational Institution
- Political Parties
- Mass Media
- Professional Organization
- Religious Organization
The role of the family is important in transmitting political values from one generation to the next. In the first ten to fifteen years of his life in the family, the child acquires most of his political personality. The child takes note of the mentality of his parents and family and puts a deep and lasting strain on his mind. It is from the family that the child learns about its political values.
2. Intimate Friend’s Group
An intimate group is a group of people with similar or close friends or close friends. In modern times, industrialization, urbanization, and modernization have changed the way of life of the former; the number of problems has increased. So in modern society, the importance of intimate blinds has increased. There are many types of discussions with intimate friends. The political attitude of friends can influence and change a person’s moral outlook.
3. Educational Institution
After a few years of age, the child joined the educational establishment for education leavers and schools, colleges and universities became important as a means of political socialization of his life. Attempts to increase loyalty to the country through the curriculum of the school include the nationalist ideals, the past glory of the nation, discussions about the leaders of the nation, etc.
4. Political Parties
Political parties compete for elections by politically organizing for leverage of political power. People of different levels and classes are involved in different types of work of one political party. Political parties increase people’s skills and awareness. People’s political role depends on the economic, social and political outlook of the political party and its relationship with the political system.
5. Mass Media
Influence of science and technology, in the modern times, the media such as radio, film, television, internet etc. are very advanced and play as an important means of political socialization.
With the help of the media, news, commentary, and images related to political events quickly reach the masses. Members of the government or government party use the media to voice their views. Opposition parties and their members take the same path.
6. Professional Organization
Various organizations organized on a professional basis are labor unions, trade unions, peasant associations, teachers ‘associations, students’ unions, etc. These organizations do not get political power like political parties or participate in electoral competition but try to preserve their professional interests by influencing the government’s decision-making process.
These organizations communicate political values and sentiments among their members through various claims and political socialization is possible.
7. Religious Organization
The political role of religious organizations in modern-day secular democratic states has diminished. Yet it turns out that they have some indirect role.
In many European states, opposition to state and educational institutions is seen in connection with Roman Catholic meditation. In India, Hindu and Muslim religious organizations try to influence the political views of their members in various ways.
Importance of Political Socialization
Third world countries were once under the political control of European power. From about the middle of the twentieth century, they continued to gain independence. The political structures of imperial European power were known in these countries. So in many countries of the Third World, political structures were developed in imitation of imperialist power. They also have their own social and political structures.
It is very important to discuss the political socialization context of these countries to know how old their own political and social structures are, how much they have changed, how political continuity is preserved in the West. Society is constantly changing. A discussion of political socialization is also needed to understand the extent to which these changes are affecting the political system.
Political socialization is related to the political stability of society. In order to maintain political stability in the process of modernization, industrialization, urbanization and various other changes, it is necessary to focus on political socialization. Emphasis is placed on political socialization in both liberal and socialist systems.