The term gigantic suggests a causal direction. Can these two very different viewpoints be merged? By Habeas Question-I : Political colonization has typically been defined as “the process by which people come to acquire political attitudes and values. ” Colonization agents are, among others, the parents, peers, school, and the surrounding society. The term suggests a causal direction. Young people are socialized by others.
Researchers sometimes talk about an gigantic perspective: Young people drive their own political development. The term gigantic suggests a causal direction. Young people choose their own ways to gain information and develop attitudes about society. Can these two very different viewpoints be merged? The current research has Identified several socializing agents In adolescents’ political development. We know that parents, peers, the school, and the media are Important agents In shaping adolescents political and CIVIC values. Attitudes, and behaviors. However, researchers have studied this process through a unidirectional lens, that is, most often taking a top-down approach where transmission flows from parent to hill. From this perspective, adolescents have been considered as passive recipients in their political colonization. In 2002, McDermott and Chaffed wrote perhaps one of the most altering papers in the field of political colonization. In this article, the authors express the need for examining adolescents as active agents in their political colonization.
The fundamental question is: should a top-down and bottom-up approach be merged when studying adolescents’ political colonization? My standpoint Is very simple: It is not Just possible It is necessary. In order to give an count of how Influential agents and adolescents’ agency can be merged, we first need to understand why the political colonization literature has examined youth’s political colonization from a unidirectional perspective over the past few decades. Societal shifts and political colonization research over the past few decades The political colonization literature began to emerge in the mid-offs.
The societal structures, political climate, and norm of that generation generally exerted a top- down mentality in several scopes of life, whether it was in the family within the school among other social institutions. Generally, the family would normally abide by a patriarchal and hierarchical structure where parents, particularly fathers, were most influential in the familial dynamics. Teachers would often have an authoritarian role with little democracy in the classroom climate.
It is no surprise that social models were thus reflected In the work of political colonization researchers at the time. Whether scholars developed theories of communication patterns at home (Chaffed, McLeod, & Hickman, 1973) or role modeling behaviors (Fletcher, Elder, & Memos, 2000) to explain Intergenerational transmission, a top-down approach was objectification of children was evident in these models at the time. However, despite the slow changes of the social structures in society, scholars and their theoretical models did not catch up with the generational shifts.
It was not until the re-birth of the political colonization research in the sass’s that scholars began to re-consider, inspired by other disciplines, the idea that adolescents too, could be active agents in their political colonization. Modern society and new media Modern Western society has shifted towards a tangent quite different from the social structures in comparison to the sass’s. Adolescents in these societies have been found to have more influence in the family and perceive more democracy in the family (Stain, Person, Burk, & Kerr, 2011).
Politically, schools are also adopting more democratic climates in the classroom allowing children to feel more efficacious and involved in their education (Campbell, 2008). With the emergence and growth of the Internet and “new media”, adolescents today have easy access to information online, regardless of the influence of other agents (Mossberg, Delbert, & McNealy, 2008). Adolescents might be more inclined to develop an interest and engagement in lattice and societal affairs. They may take the initiative to seek information that is so readily available to them through the Internet.
Online behaviors might transfer to offline behaviors; adolescents might be seeking information independently and initiating conversations at home or with peers about different political and societal matters. Again, adolescents should be considered as active agents in their political and civic colonization. Researchers have thus recognized the need to re-examine the way they think about transmission, how they examine adolescents political colonization, and the models they use to explain this.
More recently, scholars have been using a bi-directional approach, that is, also considering adolescents’ agency in theoretical models that can help us understand how adolescents develop their political and civic behaviors (McLeod, 2000; Sapphire & Chaffed, 2002). It became clear that merging the idea of top-down and bottom-up influences was not a choice, rather a necessity in the development of theoretical models in the field of political colonization. Conclusion It is vital for current theories in the field of political colonization to consider adolescents as active agents in their political colonization.
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