A person is fed information throughout their life from various outside influences; this is how one forms values, views and opinions. From this, one is able to shape their political views based on what they believe or have been taught to believe. There are many factors that come into play when these views are formed, such as historical events. Others while apparent have a latent effect, such as gender, race, socio-economic status etc. The way a person is brought up has a fairly large impact on political socialization.
Children come to know their parents value systems and beliefs. The children are brought up around these beliefs and these beliefs are instilled upon them in both unconscious and conscious ways. This is the beginning. As a person is introduced to more situations and experiences their views are molded further but the foundations are always there. Most Americans do not look thorough the inner workings of our government and the general idea of politics.
Instead they look at what politics has to offer for them. It is far easier to just look at politics based on your opinions rather than through the policies and procedures. With the innovations of modern technology and the mass media, people don’t have to look that hard for issues surrounding politics. All they have to do is turn on their T. V. or read the news on their favorite search engine web site. I think that this has had a negative effect on people’s political views.
Instead of reading articles and forming opinions on their own, they are shown the sensationalized view of politics and a fairly biased/limited perspective. My own political views were formed the same way everyone else’s were. My parents taught me about the differences between democrats and republicans, what the president does and even about the legislative branch. These teachings were mainly based around their own views but always with quite a bit of objectivity. I grew up in a fairly free household; my parents encouraged individuality and self-reliance.
This gave me the ability to learn and think about things on my own, being able figure out how I felt about them. Another interesting thing about my upbringing is that I grew up without a computer, so when I wanted to know what was going on I had to watch the news on T. V. The school that I went to was fairly progressive and the teacher that I had for Social Studies taught us a lot about both our local and federal governments, all of which have helped me from my political views.
I am a very open-minded person and this carries over heavily into how I view politics. I tend to focus on the single issues at hand and not on which party is proposing them. I feel strongly on many issues, to include abortion, education, foreign/domestic policy, welfare and most recently civil unions; however I try to understand both sides; not to agree but to understand. I do feel that I could be far more educated in politics, but I believe I am off to a good start.
Courtney from Study Moose
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