Political Socialization | Definition & Agents of Socialization

Political socialization can be defined as a process by which an individual is politically acculturated. This means a way of one’s inculcation into the political values, belief and norms of the society. Political socialization is a way by which society transmit its political culture from one generation to another.

It is seen as process of incorporation of people into their attitudinal and behavioral patterns of one’s society. According to Alan R Ball, political socialization is defined as the establishment and development of attitudes to and beliefs about the political system.

Political socialization is further defined as those developmental processes through which people acquire political orientations and patterns of behaviors.


The following are agents of political socialization:


The first pot of call in the socialization of a child is the family. This is buttressed by the fact that in the family, the child receives direct teaching and indoctrination of political values, beliefs and norms.

Non political attitudes and values which affect political orientation such as the family teaching about loyalty and obedience are received in the family. It is in the family that a child learns how to talk, eat, greet and imitate others behavior that are being exhibited in the family. Therefore, the above facts prove that family is the principal agent of political socialization.


Peer group is one of the primary agents of political socialization, in the sense that it is composed of members who are commonly sharing relatively equal status and bound together by intimate ties.

Peer group socializes its members politically through debates and arguments, discussion, communication of political ideas and issues to the members. Examples of peer groups are craft group, play group, age group, working, soccer group etc. some the groups are usually formed during the periods of primary and secondary education of the children.


In school the children are meant to face the curriculum or syllabus which is aimed at teaching the children the role of citizens in the society, the constitution of the country as well as moral aspect of life.

In the school children learn a lot both from their teachers and peer groups because in the school, they learn how to greet, salute the national flags and sing national anthem, obeys school rules and regulations, as well as the authorities.

All these help in political socialization of the children. In schools also, the children are taught the norms and values expected of them since the school is seen as an agent of cultural transmission.


The church is another agent of political socialization. In the church, the right type of values and attitude are inculcated in to the children. The church is an essential agent of political socialization in the sense that people are taught or given moral education in the bid to build the characters of individuals towards societal needs.

Therefore, the word of God which we receive in the church, often help shape our behavioral pattern and aid socialization process.


The mass media whether it is government owned or private owned media, all contribute to the child socialization process. However, the important of mass media cannot be over emphasized the newspaper, television, internet, videos, journals, radio and magazines are all means of educating the students or the children.

This is for the fact that the above mentioned media brings messages as well as provides information to the people. The government and other organizations use them as a medium of communication and transmission of information.

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