What other sources or factors influence our political preferences

Essay must be between 6-8 pages in length, be double-spaced with standard (1-inch) margins and 12-point Times New Roman font.


In 1986, J. Glass argued that a parent’s political orientation is the strongest determining factor in predicting a child’s future political preferences (i.e., most (or many) Republicans grew up in Republican-leaning households and most (or many) Democrats grew up in Democrat-leaning households). See “Attitude similarity in three-generational families: Socialization, status inheritance, or reciprocal influence?,” American Sociological Review , Vol 51, 685-698 (1986). You can access the article using the hyperlink below. You are welcome to read the article as part of your preparation for writing the essay, but you do not need to reference any details from the article, other than the author’s thesis (the article is very technical and quantitative in nature – my brief description of the author’s thesis, above, is all you need to start writing your essay).

1. In your opinion (and experience) did Glass correctly identify the primary source of our collective “political socialization?”

2. What other sources or factors influence our political preferences?

3. Glass’s article was published in 1986. In your opinion, is political socialization today largely similar to political socialization in 1986? If so, how is it similar? If not, how is it different? What implications do your observations have for political candidates, organizations, and/or institutions?

4. Finally, please identify (and briefly describe) at least two aspects or our course material (the citizen and government, the founding and the constitution, federalism, civil liberties, civil rights, public opinion, the media, political parties and interest groups, participation-campaigns-elections) that help you to understand political socialization differently than you did prior to beginning our class.


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