Author: Robert Daniel Hess,Judith V. Torney-Purta
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Based on a study of 12,000 elementary schoolchildren in eight large and medium-sized American cities, this book presents the first large-scale study of political attitude formation in children. The authors view political development from the perspective of a general theory of socialization, and compare the influences of social class, intelligence, teacher attitude, and religious membershipon the growth of political attitudes. The book outlines the way in which the child's political awareness evolvesfrom identification with authority figures such as father, policeman, the president, to a grasp of more abstract political concepts and the rudiments of political participation. Illuminating a topic of great theoretical concern and practical educational importance, the book is a significant contribution to the fields of political sociology, child development and educational psychology, and an important reference work for all concerned with the processes of socialization and of attitude formation in general. The Development of Political Attitudes in Children was based on a major survey, the first of its kind, begun at the University of Chicago in 1960 to ascertain information about the induction of children into the political life of the United States, to describe the nature of socialization into citizenship roles, and to examine pre-adult political learning and behavior in terms of other implications for the stability of the political system. Professor Frederick Frey of MIT described it as "an indispensable work for all who are trying to develop this new and tremendously important vineyardas nearly indispensable as any book of the past several years." "Their verbatim interviews with grade-schoolers are pungent and entertaining. A useful homework assignment for mothers and fathers."New York Times Robert D. Hess was the Lee L. Jacks Professor Emeritus of Child Education at Stanford University. He was one of the nation's pioneers in the study of child development and the social influences on children's intellectual growth. His work laid the foundations of current enrichment programs such as Headstart and Follow Through. He died in 1993. Judith V. Torney-Purta is professor in the Department of Human Development, University of Maryland. Jaan Valsiner is professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at Clark University.