Public Opinion

In the United States, many people have different views on things such as same-sex marriage, health care, capital punishment or gun control. These views are learned through political socialization. Political socialization is the process of where people develop political attitudes, values, behaviors, opinion, and beliefs that are essential to becoming good citizens of their nation. According to Kallio, the process occurs throughout a lifetime as people meet other people. Importantly, it is a one-way process where young people understand the political world by interacting with the adults or the media. The agents of political socialization include family, media, peer groups, school, church, and gender.

Historically, family and teachers serve as the primary agents of political socialization because they are the first groups that a person comes into contact with. However, the media is beginning to displace these two main agents of political socialization as people spend more time on internet and televisions. Resultantly, it is much easier for information to reach a large number of individuals if broadcasted through the media. Importantly, young people can use the internet to search for information negates or validates the opinions they come across in their day-to-day interactions. The family remains one of the main agents of political socialization; young people learn about politics from their parents through communication and receptivity.

The school is another agent of political socialization both at the elementary and high school level. Through education, system students learn about civic duties and how political system works. Moreover, the understanding of how political system works is known as political efficacy. For instance, students may learn political process through voting and develop a sense of political trust. On the contrary, different schools impact differently on children. However, they both expose the student to broader concepts regarding politic and authority. Further, peer groups.

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