ABOUT THIS BOOK
In the wake of World War II, the issues of political stability in general and the survival of stable democracies in particular captured the attention of American political scientists. An inevitable offshoot of this interest was the study of political behavior—how it is acquired and how and why it persists. In its early stages, work on political socialization focused exclusively on childhood and adolescence, as if the learning process ends when adulthood begins. Only recently has adult socialization emerged as a legitimate field of study within political science.
In Political Learning in Adulthood, social scientists for the first time examine the changes in political outlook and behavior that take place during the adult years, providing an invaluable overview of the problems, theories, and methodological approaches that characterize the field of political socialization. They consider which political values remain constant and which are subject to change, and they explore the ways in which both ordinary and extraordinary life events affect adults' political worldviews. Among specific topics considered are the effects of age and aging, the relation between participation in the work force and the development and expression of political views, continuity and change in the wake of revolutionary social and political movements, and the effects of such traumatic and life-threatening situations as war and terrorist activity.