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Political Socialization in Hungary

The Duality of Institutional and Non-Institutional Processes


Bernhard Claußen

The particularities of political socialization in Hungary are intimately linked to the many changes that the country has experienced in the twentieth century; changes that have prevented socialization models crystallizing into social practices. In the past four decades there were two epochs. The epoch of the direct political socialization began at the end of the forties. It was based on the negation of social and political conflicts. The political practice in this epoch was to define the socialization from «above», to eliminate the mediation between individuals and politics, to liquidate the alternatives for ways of behaving. The epoch that followed the events of 1956 can be called the epoch of conflict-avoiding political socialization. Those in power acknowledged the possibility of conflicts, but still it was impossible to learn how to handle them, how to reconcile the interests, how to make compromises, and the reason for this was that the political socialization's system, institutions and their functioning principles remained unchanged by nature.
Contents: Theories of socialization and the social history aspect - Historical precedings and the direct political socialization - Avoiding conflicts in political socialization - The institutions of socialization