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Political Socialization in a Media-Saturated World

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Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah

The studies that comprise Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World synthesize, question, and update our knowledge of political socialization that has accumulated over the past 40 years of related research. The scholarship advances innovative theoretical perspectives and develops new models of the socialization process that revolve around the key social structures of family, media, peers, and school. The Hierarchy Model of Political Socialization, in particular, provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for organizing and analyzing youth responses to the political. With research that spans multiple election cycles across nearly a decade, and data drawn from a national panel study that allows for cross-generational comparison, the findings and models of political socialization presented provide the most comprehensive and in-depth examination of youth political socialization that exists to date. This book provides a foundation and research agenda for examining the Millennial generation in the coming years as these citizens mature to adults and become the driving force of society and our polity.
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Chapter Four: Peer Influence in Adolescent Political Socialization: Deliberative Democracy Inside and Outside the Classroom

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CHAPTER FOUR

Peer Influence IN Adolescent Political Socialization

Deliberative Democracy Inside and Outside the Classroom

MI JAHNG, MITCHELL S. McKINNEY, AND ESTHER THORSON



Political socialization researchers have long focused on how children and teenagers become independent political actors. Decades of political socialization research have shown the importance of family, school, and media in this process and have established the interrelationship among these variables in shaping the political “self” of adolescents. Building on the well-established influence of family, school and mass media, this study focused on the important, yet neglected, role of peers in adolescent political socialization. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the direct influence of peer interaction in adolescent political socialization. Using deliberative democracy as a guiding theoretical perspective, this study examined how talking about politics with peer members—both outside of the classroom in informal conversation and also within the formal classroom setting—can encourage adolescents to engage in different political behaviors.

DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY: DEFINITIONS AND APPLICATIONS

Deliberative democracy has long been a key concept for both political science and political communication scholars. Compared to the notion of participatory democracy, deliberative democracy represents a move “toward a view anchored in ← 69 | 70 → accountability and discussion” (Chambers, 2003, p. 308). Kim, Wyatt, and Katz (1999, p. 362) defined deliberative democracy as “a process where citizens voluntarily and freely participate in discussions on public issues.” They added that in a...

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