What is Political Socialization?
What do we do when we “socialize?”
How are people affected by those
they socialize with?
How would we be affected
“politically” by those we socialize
Political Socialization - process by which parents and others
teach children about values, beliefs and attitudes of political
Agents or Influencing Factors of Political Socialization
Community – rural v. urban, North v. South, etc.
Race and Ethnicity
Level of Education
The Political Spectrum
Where do you stand?
What is a Continuum?
A person’s views on the issues help
determine where they fall on the
The labels used on the spectrum are
not pure categories, but they make
up a continuum, or value line, and
citizens and politicians fall
somewhere on that line depending
on what they believe.
Factors That Determine Placement
Two major factors shape political views.
The first is how much change a person is
willing to have within their society and
The second deals with how much
government involvement in the economy a
person calls for.
Others also bring in the question of how
much freedom from government authority
a leader is willing to give the people.
Radicals – These individuals on the extreme left favor basic
change accomplished through any means, even revolution.
Liberals – These individuals favor peaceful reforms.
Conservatives – These individuals prefer to leave things as they
Reactionaries – These Individuals on the extreme right favor a
return to things as they were in some earlier, and presumably
* * * *
The Political Spectrum
Liberals are on the left side of the political
spectrum and tend to favor progress and
Conservatives are on the right side of the
political spectrum and tend to favor tradition
and limiting change.
Moderates are in the middle and tend to
have views that are between these two
positions, perhaps with some views on one
end of the spectrum and other views on the
other end of the spectrum, dependent on the
There are limitations to the one-line
spectrum when determining political
ideology for an individual.
In reality, there are two spectrums:
Because there are really two spectrums,
many “ideology surveys” label a significant
portion of those who take the test as
moderate because they are measuring
standards from both spectrums, yet trying to
place it on one spectrum.
Social and political liberals Social and political
favor limited government conservatives favor broad
regulation of individual government regulation of
behavior. individual behavior
Favor protection of offensive Oppose protection of
language. offensive language.
Oppose censorship of film, Favor regulation of film,
music, etc. music, etc.
Pro-choice abortion stance. Pro-life abortion stance.
Oppose government Favor government-facilitated
sponsored religious activity. religious activity, particularly
Favor protection of in school.
homosexual rights. Oppose protection of
Favor affirmative action homosexual rights.
programs. Oppose affirmative action
Extreme: Anarchy Extreme: Fascism, Theocracy
Economic liberals favor broad Economic conservatives favor
government involvement in limited government
economic policymaking and involvement in economic
regulation of business. policymaking and regulation
Favor higher taxes, of business.
particularly progressive Favor lower taxes,
(based on income level). particularly regressive (flat
Programs assisting the poor tax, sales taxes).
such as Medicaid and Head Fewer programs with the
Start. goal of redistributing income
Redistribution of income (private charitable
(welfare; social security). assistance; invest own
money for retirement).
Sympathize with labor in regulation of market
Labor-Management issues. choices.
Sympathize with business in
Extreme: Socialism, Communism Extreme: Laissez-Faire, Monopoly
If you are like many Americans, you may tend to
be more conservative on some issues and more
liberal on others.
The limitation of one spectrum is that this
circumstance will generally place you in the
middle, which is not necessarily an accurate
reflection of your ideology.
Remember, all of this discussion takes place with
a base understanding and consensus on the social
contract and modern “liberal” political thought.
People on every point on the spectrum generally
want what is best for the country—they just
differ on how to achieve it.
Freedom Economic Issues Control
Support for greater Support for less
in economic matters in economic matters
and less government and greater
of individual control/regulation
matters. of individual
Support for minimal Totalitarian
government control Support for complete
of both economic government control
and social issues of economic and
Favor loose Favor strict
construction – a construction – a
broad interpretation narrow
interpretation may Constitutional
change as modern interpretation should
society evolves remain constant
What are our through the years
standards today? What did the
Favorchange over tradition over
status quo change
Rightsof the Rightsof the
Individual are more community are more
Voter A: “I worked my Voter B: “I really don’t
way up from poverty to care what other people do
become the successful in their free time, as long
business owner I am as they don’t bother me.
today. I get frustrated I sure don’t like it when
when I think that my tax the government tells me
money goes to support what to do with my
people who won’t help money or in my own home
themselves. I think part – I’m certainly not going
of the blame belongs with to turn around and do the
the media – they promote same thing to my
all the wrong values.” neighbors.”
Voter C: “I really worry Voter D: “These days, you
can’t be too careful. I think
about the state of the we need to spend a lot more
world today. It seems money on the national
like more and more kids defense. I wish there was a
police officer on every
are growing up in corner! The police could
poverty and there’s no search my car all they want,
one there to help them. since I don’t break the law.
I also think the government
I think we need to do should crack down on the
more toward providing media – their reporting gives
healthcare and our enemies an inside look
at all our military
education programs for preparations.”
our young people.”
Most people will fit
somewhere within the
parameters of this circle.
Freedom Economic Issues Control
In response to many requests, not only from Americans, The
Political Compass™ has charted the most prominent names in the
2008 US Primaries. They have been evaluated through scrutiny of
public statements, manifestos, interviews and, crucially, voting
records. Our apologies for those not included.
It is important to recognise that The Political Compass™ is a
continuum rather than consisting of hard and fast quadrants. For
example, Ron Paul on the social scale is actually closer to Dennis
Kucinich than to many figures within his own party. But on the
economic scale, they are, of course, far apart.
When examining the chart it is important to note that although
most of the candidates seem quite different, in substance they
occupy a relatively restricted area within the universal political
spectrum. Democracies with a system of proportional
representation give expression to a wider range of political
views. While Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are depicted on the
extreme left in an American context, they would simply be
mainstream social democrats within the wider political landscape
of Europe. Similarly, Hillary Clinton is popularly perceived as a
leftist in the United States while in any other western democracy
her record is that of a moderate conservative.