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Abstract and Keywords 'Politics, Culture and Socialization' nr.3


'In the name of the father? The role of family politicization in the political socialization process of Belgian federal election candidates', by Hilde Van Liefferinge, Carl Devos & Kristof Steyvers, Belgium
Family politicization remains a disproportionately represented background feature of federal election candidates in Belgium. For a holistic explanation of this overrepresentation, diverse features should be taken into account. In this article we focus on the role of family politicization in one major explanatory feature, namely the political socialization process. Our empirical data stem from a 2009 elite survey, in which Belgian federal election candidates were asked for several aspects of their family background, political engagement and career. The results show that candidates stemming from highly politicized families develop an earlier interest in politics, enter political life at an earlier age, had more frequent political discussions in the home environment and show higher partisanship agreement with their parents than candidates with lower levels of family politicization and certainly than candidates from families in which party politics was completely absent.

Keywords: family politicization – political socialization – election candidates – party politics – political recruitment


'Islamophobia; In Search for an Explanation of Negative Attitudes towards Islam and Muslims, Testing Political Socialization Theory', by Jolanda van der Noll and Henk Dekker, The Netherlands
According to a recent international public opinion poll a majority of the Dutch had an unfavourable opinion of Islam and Muslims. This poll motivated us to a new investigation of the question how we can explain Islamophobia. We conducted a survey among 581 Dutch non-Muslim youth aged 14-16 years, including 104 mainly closed-ended single- and multi-item questions to measure the attitude towards Islam and Muslims and various independent variables derived from the main theories in this field of study. Theories included in this study are the political socialization, direct contact, social identity, and perceived threat theories. The hypothesis was that islamophobia is mainly the effect of negative socialization, including perceptions of negative attitudes towards Islam and Muslims among parents, best friends and favourite teachers. A multivariate analysis of the data shows that we cannot reject this hypothesis.

Keywords: Islamophobia – Muslims – behaviour – attitude – political socialization


'China’s emphasis on political socialization function in moral education: A power perspective', by Ye Wang Bei, People's Republic of China
While many scholars have noted that political socialization is emphasized in moral education in China, few have examined what informs this emphasis. Using a power in education analysis model, this article identifies the social forces impacting moral education, and analyzes the relationship between these forces and the process of moral education. This article argues that China emphasizes political socialization in moral education to preserve and advance the interests of the country’s dominant political groups.

Keywords: China – political – socialization – moral – education – power


'Immigration Trends and Implications in the United States and Western Europe Compared: Public Opinion Explored', by Daniel B. German & Dragan Stefanovic, USA
In this report the authors have endeavored to examine public opinion in the US and the original fifteen Western European Union (EU) nations as a way to compare the differences and similarities between the two. Public opinion is an important channel of political decision making influence in both geographic areas. There are definite similarities. First, in both the US and EU nations public opinion polls reveal that people have reached the limits of allowing immigration without more restrictions. Several polls in the US indicate that especially illegal immigration has got to be brought under control. A multination Eurobarometer survey indicates the same feeling among EU citizens. Second, it is interesting that neither the Americans nor the citizens of EU nations want to repatriate (expel) immigrants including the illegal immigrants. Americans are split on either giving all immigrants a work identification card or having immigrants become legitimate citizens as a requirement for staying in the US. Americans want a national identity card for all Americans so that illegal immigration could more easily be brought under control. In the EU, a passport is already required for immigrants coming from outside the newly expanded EU. Europeans want immigrants to stay, but insist on immigrants obeying the laws within each nation. In the EU most would remain as guest workers and few would become citizens. The barrier to citizenship in EU is the major difference compared to the US where obtaining citizenship is relatively easy.

Keywords: Immigration – public opinion – EU – United States – decision making


'Post-Emancipation Jewry and the Betrayal of Bildung', by Amy Loewenhaar-Blauweiss, USA
The Enlightenment ushered in a problem with regard to the placement of the Jews within civil society. Not only was Judaism itself measured unfavorably against the framework of reason, but the very success of the Enlightenment's proclaimed humanistic values were put to the test by its handling of the Jewish Question—a test which was ultimately a failure. The Jewish community, already splintering under the stresses of modernity, attempted to solve a communal religious problem via individual acculturation and assimilation, further conflating the civil with the religious and the nationalistic with the philosophical. By the time the Enlightenment’s liberal idea of tolerance was largely jettisoned from German political thought in the closing decades of the 19th century, the Jews were no longer able to refer to their own community in the way that they had done prior to their emancipation. Uniquely isolated and fractured among the many outsider cultures and groups that suffered under the rise of reactionary politics, the Jews fell victim to the very administrative apparatus of modernity that had been used by the modernizing states to put Enlightenment values into action. Unable to form a basis of common cause with either the marginalized ethnicities that had terrestrial nationhood and heredity, or with the established states that required the relinquishment of the Jewish religion as a prerequisite for inclusion within the polity, the Jews could be absorbed as neither individuals nor as a group in either the secular or the religious sense. The supranational Jews, perceived by the surrounding world as dangerous to both nationalistic and broadly humanistic causes, nonetheless identified so completely with the individuals host nations in which they resided by the decade, and with the myriad “isms” with which they had tried to solve their lack of inclusion within the modern nation-state, that they were too atomized to perceive the threat of total annihilation as the Holocaust drew near.

Key words: Bildung – emancipation – Enlightenment – Gemeinschaft – Gesellschaft – modernity



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