Timothy Kinsella
Political Science
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • American Government
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Political Socialization and Public Opinion: Course Map & Recommended Resources


    Political Socialization and Public Opinion

    The resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:

    1. Identify institutions that socialize voters and teach democratic norms.
    2. Describe how affective group identities (e.g. race, partisanship) drive opinions and behavior
    3. Critique polling methodology
    4. Understand how a poll is conducted and the limits of public opinion polling.
    5. Identify the factors that influence voter turnout.
    6. Discuss how political campaigns affect voters
    7. Compare and contrast how campaigns design their message versus how voters receive those messages
    8. Understand campaign messaging
    9. Discuss how individual bias limits what people know about politics.
    10. Describe how social networks influence opinions and engagement.
    11. Discuss becoming involved in the political process
    12. Examine barriers to political involvement

    Discussion Questions and Key Concepts

    Discussion Questions

    1. Discuss the various agents of political socialization. Which one has the biggest impact and why?

    2. Identify your own political ideology and the factors that influenced you.

    3. Discuss how membership in a group influences how you perceive other members of your own group as well as individuals who are outside your group.

    4. Discuss how the media does a good job at political socialization? Does the media ever do a “bad” job at socialization? Explain.

    Key Terms or Concepts (Define):

    1. Ideology

    2. Political culture

    3. Political socialization