The Influence of Peer Relationships on Political Socialization Among College Students
Political socialization has been of interest to political science and communication scholars for decades. Focusing primarily on parents, few studies have examined how peer relationships can affect the political socialization process. Additionally, much of the literature does not examine political socialization past the age of 18. Using social penetration theory, this study proposes that the unique features of the college context—independence, new relationships, political organizations—make it a particularly ripe context for political socialization to occur. The study utilized a survey-based to test this assumption and examine if/how college students between the ages of 18 and 24 are communicating with their peers and to what political socialization effect. The findings contribute to political socialization literature, social penetration theory, and our understanding of how young people talk about politics.