The study of the process by which people acquire political values not simply during active political participation, but also in the period before they engage in any explicitly political activity, constitutes the subject-matter of political socialisation studies.
It also involves the study of the process by which political values, not only political party preferences, but also such other items as political interests and opinions were transferred from one generation to the next. In other words, it seeks to focus attention on the process by which the political culture of a society is maintained, transmitted to the new generation and changed.
A researcher conducting research in the area of political socialisation seeks to analyse the nature of the role played by such institutions as family, education, peer groups, religion, etc., in determining the orientations of the people towards authority and to various aspects of the political system.
Almond identifies political socialisation as the first input of the political system which forms the primary process of transmission of values to the new generation and which serves as the foundation for the process of political recruitment. The study of the concept of political socialization constitutes an important area of study in comparative politics.
Almond and Powell have rightly observed that ‘the study of political socialisation seems to be one of the most promising approaches to understand political stability and development.” It can be of great help in the study of the psychological and sociological roots of politics.
The above discussion clearly brings out that:
(1) Political Socialisation is basically a sub-set of a general teaching-learning process and it involves abstracting from the general process of socialisation only those elements which have relevance with political objects, values and activities.
(2) The fruits of political socialisation are aggregative and interactive. It is continuous learning process. It is an on-going process.
(3) The process of political socialisation is comprehensive. It encompasses all phenomena which are directly or indirectly or even remotely associated with political learning.
(4) Every individual represents a more or less unique combination of socializing experiences.
(5) It is through Political Socialisation that Political Cultures are maintained & changed.
(6) The concept of Political Socialisation is very useful in the study of Political Change or Development.
(7) Changes in Political Socialisation always act as a source of change in the poloitical behaviour of the people.