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Influence of the Media to Political Socialization Coursework (Coursework Sample)


the task was to discuss factors contributing to political socialization.
This paper examine mass media as one of the agents of political socialization and analyze how it operates and its effects on the nation of Kenya. Additionally, since the mass media have been measured to be a potent agent of political socialization with enormous effects attitudes and voters' and non-voters' behaviors, therefore this study investigates the effects of online news, televisions, and prints on political socialization in the Republic of Kenya


Political SocializationStudent’s Name Institution Date
Political Socialization
Democracy gives every person the freedom to involve in the political matters whether to vie for political seat or vote for others who are seeking the political leadership (Schuknecht, 2003). In order to be part of political issues or to be affiliated with a particular political party, which aspirant to vote for, etc., people need to make the decision based on what they believe in. During this situation, political socialization comes in. Our ideas and thoughts are influenced and shaped in many ways as we group up (Greenberg, 2009). This process through which we develop a particular form of reasoning about politics is referred to as political socialization. Notably, this method is lifetime development of an individual’s political values. Although most of the time political socialization takes place during childhood, it is important to point out that political values continue to be shaped throughout the lives of people in a given society. Moreover, through this process, people obtain their feelings and perceptions about their political environment.
It is worth mentioning that there is a lot of factors that influence the political socialization of a person (Singh, 2009). These include personal aspects such as families, economic and social classes, peer groups and education. Other general items such as mass media and essential world events also influence political values of people. These group of people or individuals are the “agent for political socialization.” For instance, families unintentionally convey political culture by acting as a role model for children. It is evident that children usually have similar political beliefs as those of their parents (Heard, 2013). Similarly, schools also shape political socialization. Children learn things about their country while at schools (Pradhan, 2011). The syllabus train children to be responsible citizens through subjects like history and social studies. Therefore, individuals are not born with the idea of politic, nor manufacture them, but they learn them through the agents of political socialization.
This essay aims to examine mass media as one of the agents of political socialization and analyze how it operates and its effects on the nation of Kenya. Additionally, since the mass media have been measured to be a potent agent of political socialization with enormous effects attitudes and voters’ and non-voters’ behaviors, therefore this study investigates the effects of online news, televisions, and prints on political socialization in the Republic of Kenya.
The increasing importance of the internet in daily activities of life is evident. People in Kenya prefer using the internet and other digital media to smooth their ways of lives and accomplish communication requirements than any other communication form. In Kenya, some children own cell phones at a tender age of about six years of age (Fowlkes, 2015). And with the freedom to access internet contents whether good or bad. While I admit that many children do not check on political issues or the results of the election using their cell phones, I believe that when they access such information enhance their possibilities of being informed better concerning the matters at hand (Jacline, 2011). Being well-informed leads to the discussion about political issues hence participation in the political affairs.
Influence of the Media to Political Socialization
An example of the mass media’s substantial effects on voters especially the youth is the 2017 general election in Kenya. In order to win the political race, many aspirants knew that they needed to get the youth to participate in the voting exercise. The media played a significant role to motivate the youth to turn out for registration. Most importantly, all leaders who were elected in 2017 Kenyan polls was because of the high turnout of youth on the election day. This shows that media as an agent of political socialization has enabled the youth to be active participants in political matters hence contributing to political profile of the country. Many politicians use media to carry out their campaigns using social media like Facebook and Twitter.
According to Paletz (2002), political socialization is best seen in the following six main parts: the first part is system Legitimacy, whereby the country’s institution and political system and the belief deserve opposition, faithfulness, and indifference. The second part where political socialization can be seen is political efficacy which is built on the assumption that the political behavior of an individual can be effective and produce results or not. Third is political participation, based on the belief that an individual may choose to participate in politics or not. Partisan identification is the fourth area, whereby an individual identifies his or her self with the political party. The firth part is group identification, this is where individuals identify themselves with particular groups in the community, and the sixth one is policy preference, the feeling to support one policy position and reject others.
Mass Media’s effect in Children
As noted in the introduction, political socialization starts in childhood. Several types of research submit that school teachers and family are the most primary agents that influence political socialization in children. However, current research estimates that mass media has a high influence in the process of political socialization. On average, both teenagers and young children in Kenya use most of their time on digital media and television than they spend in their learning. In Kenya, it is estimated that children spent 60% of their time in mass media. The information they obtain from mass media plays a significant role in shaping and changing their idea concerning their political views (Gonzalez-Mena, 2010). Moreover, several types of research also revealed that children who spend most of their time in media understand better of Kenyan values such as freedom of speech. This is because a vast percentage of media information that is consumed by Kenyan children is meant for the adult audience. Similarly, the influence of the message in the mass media is stronger since the brain of young children is ready for learning thus more likely to understand the content and the picture of the world at face value.
Effects of media to Adulthood
In adulthood, media’s role in political socialization continues by the use of both factual and fiction sources. Adults have a broader contact to political content embedded in news and entertainment. For instance, television is the source of various fictional political information (Atkin, 2011). The conclusion of information obtained from television entertainments develops the standards and the values by which individuals judge. While the process of political socialization by the mass media is a lifetime, it is important to note that after the adolescent stage, the value of individual remains constant. Most people select what media they will follow based on their existing costs, and the information obtained from the press is used to confirm what they believe by now (Atkin, 2011).
In Kenya, the internet is a potent agent of political socialization since the vast amount of political content available on the web and the fact that Kenyan actively use online platform. It is important to say that people do not get political information about government from blogs and news websites, they can as well respond to arguments and stories through debate forums. People of Kenya usually use the online media to participate actively in the political processes like the election. In particular, young people use the internet to get to participate and to get to know about politics. Evidence reveals that young people in Kenya are establishing their political personalities online as they acquire knowledge about the differences between political parties and the political aspirants and also learn about issues and other political events within the country. Additionally, youth use social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter to develop collective online communities that form for political causes, campaigns, and lobby government. All of these online events contribute a lot to the political socialization of engaged citizens of Kenyans.
The effects of political socialization
The application of the personalized form of media, like contribution in social networking platform and text messaging, has extended in recent years. Young people who use these types of the press have comprehensive control over their political socialization. For instance, the youth can decide to engage in politics through social media such as Facebook group made up of friends who have shared viewpoints (Fowlkes, 2015). Surprisingly, young people even those who are not legible to vote, use mass media to involve themselves in political campaigns to contribute to the personal commentary. Press have enormous contents about the politics, the government, and other current affairs. People get political information via news aired on television, in magazine and newspaper, on the internet, on radio among others. The press offer insight into the operation of the government highlighting the political leaders in action.
Theories for Political Socialization
To grasp the full effect that the mass media has on political socialization in Kenya, it is essential to understand the four theories: agenda setting, knowledge gain, priming, and framing. These approaches are the basis for political socialization. Agenda setting is the capability of the media to set the opinion to the public through emphasizing specific information over others. For instance, mass media such as the television in Kenya frequently employ agenda setting by telling p...
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