Political socialization is the process by which parents, peers, relatives, and other people teach children about political beliefs, values, and attitudes. Children can learn these things in many places; home, school, the neighborhood, playground or other places. Political socialization not only helps people find their group identity, it also influences how the person views politics. .
The home is the first place where political socialization occurs. Our parentâ€™s demographic is a key factor in what we come to believe and accept. Demographics are the characteristics of the population a person lives in. Class, occupation, and standard of living are all part of this. People in certain demographics tend to gravitate towards certain ideas. Although what an individualâ€™s peers believe and what their parents believe may differ, usually it is similar because a personâ€™s peers typically come from the same demographic.
The second place where political socialization takes place is school. While parents teach their children about more specific views (political parties, ideas on certain subjects, the standard they set for their children and themselves), schools tend to give the children a more general look at what is acceptable in society. Other things that fall into the category of schools are; school clubs, school sports, or any other education related activity. At a young age, we begin to get the basic foundation of our political beliefs and one of our schoolâ€™s functions is to put the finishing touches on us as we grow and learn. In school an individual is exposed to people from different demographics, presented with diverse and conflicting views, and allowed to begin shaping the ideals they will hold as an adult.
Mass media is another agent of political socialization. The difference between mass media, and parents and schools, is that the media is ever-present.