College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Communication Studies Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Communication Studies

Date

5-2022

Primary Advisor

Jnan Blau, College of Liberal Arts, Communication Studies Department

Abstract/Summary

This study used personal reflection, surveys, and interviews to study the political socialization of those that attend college. Previous research has shown that many facets of one’s life can affect their political socialization, such as their familial upbringing or religious ties, and that adolescence is a time in which many individuals go through a significant shift in their political and ethical views. However, a new influence—social media—has begun to greatly affect the political views and shifts of college-age individuals. After personal reflection upon the experiences that caused one such shift, a survey and a series of four interviews of those who have attended college were conducted to examine the experiences and influences behind such shifts. Ultimately, findings were inconclusive but created a basis for future studies. Results showed that religious upbringings prior to college experiences are somewhat indicative of a shift during college that is both political and ethical in nature, but also that many other influences are important to the process as well. Social media in particular has played a very significant role in the socialization of youth and its effects are still widely misunderstood. Therefore, more research needs to be done on the political socialization of college individuals and social media’s effects upon it.

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