Both my parents are independents; and I used to identify myself as independent. However, I believe school was the political socialization agent that has had the greatest impact in my judgments and decisions related to politics. This process began in my country, Venezuela, there I learned about world and Venezuelan history, patriotism, symbols, basic institutions and values of politics in school. I was always taught to stand for my principles and beliefs. Therefore, from seven to twelve grades I got involved with my schools’ Student Government Group.
At that time, I was able to make a difference in issues related to students and staff interests; I also made a difference in the community by organizing conservationist campaigns, good neighbor activities, and beautification of our city projects, to mention some. Most of the time I felt that I was not bonded to any of the country’s political parties, but shortly after entering college I began to work and there were the opportunities for involvement within the system. Unfortunately, my country’s political situation started to deteriorate with the intended of a military take over.
Later on, it was totally crushed with the actual Presidential election of the perpetrator, current President, Hugo Chaves. My trust and faith in a democracy were shattered until I decided to come to the US. Now, I appreciate and love this country very much for all the opportunities existing to me. I also feel that my opinions in American politics, ethics and other subjects are well-informed and once again school has marked and amplified them.
On the other hand, I believe that a person’s knowledge of politics cannot simply come from their own personal experience or through the lessons learned from others directly. For instance, the mass media influences individuals by what they report and what they do not report; and it does not frequently discuss alternatives to the way society is fundamentally structured.
In conclusion, I think much of the political knowledge people have comes from a combination of agents, for me in priority basis are: school, my values, and the mass media. I also think that my family has the least impact on me as political socialization agent because they were never inclined to any political party and this was not an important subject of discussion in my house.