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Critical Thinking Assignment #1 - Political Socialization
In this assignment, you will explore the concept of political socialization by describing your own experience
and comparing it to one of your classmates. Your assignment must include both of the following:
1. Discuss your own process of political socialization (as defined in the textbook), both as a youth and as an
adult. Do you consider yourself a member of the political class, the bewildered herd, or somewhere in between?
How did you come to be where you are? Discuss at least 3-4 factors that have had the most influence on your
opinions and attitudes about politics and government.
2. Compare your own process of political socialization to the person you interviewed in class. Using your
notes from the interview, give specific examples to help illustrate the ways that your process has been different
from your interview partner. How have these factors influenced each of you in different ways?
In your discussion and interview, consider each of the following agents of socialization:




family
• geography (where you grew up/live now)
school (K-12, college)
• group identity (race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion)
peers (coworkers, classmates, friends) • media (TV, radio, online, etc.)
life cycle/ generational effects (experience/events in your own life that affect you or your whole generation)
NOTE: You should also use information from the text in your discussion (for example, definitions and quotes
can help support and explain your own process.) You may also do a creative project, with the instructor’s
consent. If you decide to do a creative project, please include a written explanation with your project.
Critical Thinking Assignment #1 - Political Socialization
In this assignment, you will explore the concept of political socialization by describing your own experience
and comparing it to one of your classmates. Your assignment must include both of the following:
1. Discuss your own process of political socialization (as defined in the textbook), both as a youth and as an
adult. Do you consider yourself a member of the political class, the bewildered herd, or somewhere in between?
How did you come to be where you are? Discuss at least 3-4 factors that have had the most influence on your
opinions and attitudes about politics and government.
2. Compare your own process of political socialization to the person you interviewed in class. Using your
notes from the interview, give specific examples to help illustrate the ways that your process has been different
from your interview partner. How have these factors influenced each of you in different ways?
In your discussion and interview, consider each of the following agents of socialization:




family
• geography (where you grew up/live now)
school (K-12, college)
• group identity (race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion)
peers (coworkers, classmates, friends) • media (TV, radio, online, etc.)
life cycle/ generational effects (experience/events in your own life that affect you or your whole generation)
NOTE: You should also use information from the text in your discussion (for example, definitions and quotes
can help support and explain your own process.) You may also do a creative project, with the instructor’s
consent. If you decide to do a creative project, please include a written explanation with your project.