According to Barbour and Wright, the current process of political socialization in the United States
A. teaches us tolerance for the political values of other nations.
B. trains us to support and obey the existing political system.
C. teaches us to think independently and critically.
D. is the primary function of a college education.
E. has no legitimate function.
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The best answer to this question is Option B. This is really what every country’s process of political socialization does.
Political socialization is the process by which we learn our political orientations and allegiances. That is, it is the process in which we learn what we are supposed to believe about government. To the extent that we are socialized by society (as opposed to by our parents or other individuals) we are taught to support and obey our current political system.
This socialization can easily be seen in our schools’ insistence that we say the Pledge of Allegiance often (in the school where I teach, we say it every day). Every day, we promise to be loyal to our country. This is a clear example of being taught to support our current system. This is not to say that we teach children to obey and support individual leaders. Instead, what it means is that we teach children that our form of government is the best form and that we should support it. This is the main goal of political socialization as conducted by society (as opposed to by individual parents, who can clearly teach their children, if they desire, to believe that the government is illegitimate and tyrannical).
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