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Political Socialization In A World Of Conflict And Change

Orit Ichilov

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The term “political socialization” was coined by Herbert Hyman and was the title of his book published in 1959. The newly introduced area of research and theory grew rapidly as evident from the number of books and articles that were published especially during the late fifties and during the sixties and, somewhat less, during the late seventies. It soon became one of the flagships of the American Political Science Association (APSA). I recently accessed the website of APSA and discovered that “political socialization” is no longer there. In contrast, “Political socialization and education” is one of the active research groups at the International Political Science Association (IPSA). Is this coincidental? What is the present state of political socialization? Has it “died a premature death in the 70s” (Niemi and Hepburn, 1995, p. 8)? Has it metamorphosed into “civic engagement” (Torney-Purta, 2012)? Is there a reawakening of interest in political socialization (Adolina, 2012)? Is political socialization still relevant in a world of conflict and change? I propose to discuss the emergence of “political socialization”, reasons for its decline, its present state and then outline what I consider to be a new agenda for political socialization as a scholarly area of inquiry.

Keywords: Political socialization – political learning – conflict and cultural change – agents of political socialization – dissent and disobedience – socializing environments and contexts.


Bibliography: Ichilov, Orit: Political Socialization In A World Of Conflict And Change, PCS, 2-2013, pp. 109-119.