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Despite everything, an engaged socialization. Childhood and adulthood processes leading to politically engaged citizens in Spain

Carolina Galais

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The advent of the rational perspective in political science in the late 70’s placed more emphasis on the role of political context and marginalized explanations based on political socialization processes. The revival of the political socialization approach in the 2000’s has again highlighted the same methodological and theoretical limitations that it suffered in its initial stages. To address some of these limitations, in the following pages I propose an integrated active political socialization model to explain Spaniards’ subjective political engagement. This approach takes into account the two main phases of political socialization, and challenges the classical primacy principle. Neither of these socialization stages should be ignored, since both early and late experiences contribute, to some extent, to encourage (or discourage) political engagement. Moreover, I argue that the primary and secondary phases of political socialization are not independent of each other because early experiences affect later patterns of social interaction, and this leads to a less deterministic perspective of childhood socialization. Finally, I test to what extent this model based on individual level variables is independent from cohort effects.

Keywords: political socialization, political engagement, political culture, political attitudes, cohorts, period effects.