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Lin, "A study of political socialization of senior secondary school students in Taiwan," 1993
Ching-Yea Lin, Ph.D.
Political scientists, educators, and social scientists have demonstrated increasing interest in children's political orientations since Hyman initially conceptualized political socialization as a field of study in 1959. Political socialization refers to the process by which individuals acquire political orientations. It is a process that generally involves political learning in cognitive, affective and behavioral domains.
Taiwan is engaged in a significant political transition since 1986 when the martial law was lifted and a political opposition was allowed to obtain its legal status. Given the liberal atmosphere, more freedom for mass media and the press to criticize government policies, and demonstrations to express different social or political positions have increasingly led to a pattern of civic disorders.
The school has long been regarded as an important socializing agent providing future citizens with political knowledge, fostering desired political attitudes and values. To what extent do the secondary schools as an agent of political socialization prepared the future citizens? What are the factors affecting students political socialization? This study investigated the impact of four school variables (i.e., school type, school track, GPA, and classroom climate) and three demographic variables (i.e. gender, ethnic origin, and SES) on political interest, political trust, political efficacy, and political tolerance of senior secondary school students in Taiwan. The purposes were first to ascertain if there are differences in political attitudes by gender, ethnic origins, SES, school types, school tracks, and GPA, and secondly to explore the correlation between students' political attitudes and perceived classroom climate. Data were collected during the fall semester 1991 from a sample of 1,066 randomly selected students of fifty-three senior secondary schools in Taipei city.
Findings indicated that school type, school track, GPA, and SES were positively associated with students' political attitudes. In addition, ethnic origin played an important role in affecting students political interest, trust, and tolerance. And there were low positive correlations between classroom climate and political interest, trust, and tolerance. (Copies available exclusively from Micrographics Department, Doheny Library, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0182.)
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