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School as an Agent of Political Socialization: the Political Culture of Schoolchildren

Student: Lilita Barsegyan

Supervisor: Valery Georgievich Ledyaev

Faculty: Faculty of Sociology

Educational Programme: Bachelor

Year of Graduation: 2014

<p>The project is intended to examine the level of political culture of Russian schoolchildren and to study the process of political socialization at school. School as a social institution is supposed to help the growing generation to assimilate into political roles and integrate into the political system. But in reality it does not cope with its key task: we face with pupils` immature political consciousness and the lack of their competence in politics. Moreover, numerous blank spots in the field of knowledge of youth`s political values are to be found in Russian studies, which intensify this contradiction.</p><p>Firstly, studying Russian pupils, I try to determine the maturity and the character of their political preferences which remain unclear. The next tasks are connected with the definition of the level of schoolchildren`s political competence and the description of mechanisms the education system can use at school to increase this kind of knowledge. I also reveal the social and demographic factors making an impact on the level of pupils` political culture.</p><p>The main aim is achieved via the development of both quantitative and qualitative sociological methods. The researcher survey 286 schoolchildren, studying in seventh-eleventh grades at 3 schools located in Podolsk city, to examine the level of their political culture. Then 6 semi-structured interviews with their teachers of Russian language/Literature and Social science/History, the experts of the political socialization of young people, are conducted.</p><p>The results of this research show that:</p><ul><li>The level of pupils` political literacy is quite acceptable: contrary to expectations, the majority of respondents are politically knowledgeable;</li><li>Although many young people have mixed political orientations, their ideological attitudes can be identified. So, the most popular political views among Russian schoolchildren are national-conservative, while the least popular are socialist;</li><li>The mechanisms of political socialization at school experience transformation in recent years and are aimed at the formation national-conservative values, prevailing among Russian teenagers;</li><li>The high level of school education is the most significant factor that contribute to the increase of schoolchildren`s political culture.</li></ul><p>So, the present study provides impetus for further sociological research in the area of political socialization of young people and contains valuable results for additional examination of ideological attitudes of the future Russian generation in detail.</p>

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