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Keywords:A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION AND VOTER’S ATTITUDE IN AJEROMI IFELODUN AND IBEJU LEKKI LGA OF LAGOS STATE
In the contemporary world today, political socialization entails the inculcation of a society’s political culture in members of society and the transmission of such from one generation to the other. Thus, individuals, groups or institutions that affect people’s self-concepts, attitudes, behaviors or other orientations are referred to as agents of socialization.This study is a comparative study of political socialization and voters attitude in Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Ibeju-Lekki local government areas of Lagos State. The random sampling techniques was adopted for this study and questionnaires were administered to inhabitants of the two local governments.
The study concludes that the enduring norms, values, beliefs and attitudes that are supportive of the political power system and which are transmitted from one generation to the other which is referred to as the political culture, need to be encouraged much more in both Ibeji-Lekki LGA and Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA of Lagos State.The study also recommends that Political parties should imbibe and internalizes strong political culture; Core political values, beliefs, norms and ideology should be encouraged; Political education should be done frequently and the political parties should encourage leadership recruitment.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Background of study
Statement of the Problem
Objective of the Study
Significance of the Study
The concept of political socialization
The concept of voter’s attitude
3.0 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF AJEROMI IFELODUN AND IBEJU LEKKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
3.1 Historical Background: AjeromiIfelodun LGA
3.2 Historical Background: IbejuLekki LGA
4.0 COMPARISON OF POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION AND VOTER’S ATTITUDE IN AJEROMI-IFELODUN AND IBEJU LEKKI LGAs
5.0 SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
1.1 Background of study
Culture itself is “the totality of learned, socially transmitted customs, knowledge, material objects and behavior. It includes ideas, values and artifacts of groups of people” (Schaefer, 2010:53). Marshall (1996:400) opined that political socialization refers to “the process of induction into a political system”.
Ofoeze (2001:13) posits that political socialization is a process by which political ideas of any given society are internalized and transmitted from one generation to the other. In other words, political socialization is the vehicle through which political culture emerges.
Political culture is to demonstrate how cultural development and political development move in tandem (Marshall 1998). Political culture according to Marshall refers to “the norms, values and symbols that help to legitimize the political power system of a society” (Marshall, 1996:398).
McLean and McMillan (2009:400) defined political culture as:
The attitudes, beliefs and values, which underpin the operation of a particular political system. These were seen as including knowledge, and skill about the operation of the political system, positive and negative feelings towards it, and evaluative judgments about the system.
According to Ofoeze (2001), political culture is defined in two ways namely, at the levels of individual citizens and at the political system as a whole.
On the individual level, political culture is defined as “all the important ways in which a person is subjectively oriented towards the essential element in the political system”.
On the political system as a whole, political culture is referred to as “the collective orientation of a person towards the basic elements in their political system” (Ofoeze, 2001:16 – 17). The definitions stated above emphasized the importance of orientation of members of society towards basic and essential element of the political system. Thus, positive orientations that generate norms, values, beliefs and attitudes that are supportive of the political power system is basic to political culture. In other words, effective political socialization breeds enduring political culture.
Ofoeze (2001) in the view of Almond and Bingham posits that political socialization performs the following functions:
- Has the capacity to transform the population or part of it, to view and experience politics in different dimensions.
- Rapid changes or extraordinary events have the capacity of generating political culture even where none existed (through cultural diffusion).
- Shapes and transmits a nation’s political culture.
- Maintains society’s political culture from one generation to the other.
According to Odoemelam and Aisien (2013),the process of political socialization entails the inculcation of a society’s political culture in members of society and the transmission of such from one generation to the other. Thus, individuals, groups or institutions that affect people’s self-concepts, attitudes, behaviors or other orientations are referred to as agents of socialization. The political parties are the major agents of political socialization in modern democratic governance (Odoemelam and Aisien, 2013). The political party is defined as:
An organized group of citizens of a state with similar views, ideas and ideology which they consider to be fundamental to the political system and good governance. The main purpose of political party is to contest elective political offices with a view to form government.
Political parties apart from carrying on the task of political socialization also perform the functions of: Interest articulation; Interest aggregation; Building political culture, Political education, Political leadership recruitment etc.
According to Ofoeze (2001), political parties perform the role of interest articulation by identifying and selecting from innumerable and often conflicting and confused mass of problems, opinions, ideas and interests considered as more pressing, urgent and more critical, analyzing them, thinking and fashioning out solutions and presenting them in forms of policy options to the people for consideration.
Furthermore, political parties perform interest aggregation through the filtering of divergent views and opinion of the people and articulating them in such a manner that they can be presented for consideration as public policy.
Another important function of the political parties is the use of political socialization and education to build enduring political culture. In Western advanced democracies, political parties encourage positive orientations that generate norms, values, beliefs and attitudes that are supportive of the political power system. Another crucial function of the political parties according to Ofoeze (2001:25) involves:
The identification, screening, selection and discovery of those citizens possessing the relevant leadership abilities and who then are pointed into formal political governmental positions to exercise general political or governmental leadership.
These and other functions of the political parties under normal situation, help to create a stable and enduring political system.
In Nigerian society as is the case with most African societies, political socialization is yet to reflect what is obtainable in Western advanced liberal democracies as typified by the United States of America (USA) or Britain (Odoemelam and Aisien, 2013). This is against the backdrop that political socialization by political parties has not encouraged public support for basic political structures, institutions and symbols of the political systems. It has also been argued that appropriate political culture (attitudes, beliefs, values etc.) supportive of Nigeria’s political power system is yet to be evolved. Some have also argued that political parties in Nigerian society have “manifesto” that are not philosophically and ideologically tailored. This phenomenon has resulted to lack of sense of direction (Odoemelam and Aisien, 2013).
The increasing failure of many individuals to participate in politics especially in the selection of leaders through voting leads to outraged of apathy. Democracy and democratic theory presents voting as a unique activity which forms the bedrock of political equality and civic rights in a society. Voting is of paramount importance and it contributes to a collective outcome, rather than the individual outcome. It is the most common means of participation in a democratic system and this explains why much attention is given to the rise in voter’s absentation.
It is therefore, important to note that participation in politics without sound knowledge of how the institutions of a country work and how they can be influenced can be self-defeating.
There are a number of factors that motivate political participation in general and voting, specifically in Nigeria. Previous studies may view these factors as economic, socio-cultural, and so on. Whatever the case, it is necessary to note that, political awareness and competence brought about by political socialization of the populace have a fundamental part to play.
In recent years, much attention has been given to socialization but it is necessary to note that, there exist some differences between political socialization and socialization in general.
A politically socialized individual is expected to know the beliefs of political contestants, what the main disputes are about, which political institutions operate in the society and posses the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to participate in public life and groups (that are both occupational and voluntary). He recognizes and tolerates diversities of political and social values. Whatever the case may be, the question however, is whether the level of political socialization in Nigeria is good enough for the country to pull through.
It is against this backdrop that this study is channeled towards the comparative study of political socialization and voter’s attitude in AjeromiIfelodun and IbejuLekki LGA’s of Lagos State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is that, so far, voter’s attitude during electoral process have been quite low when compared to the number of registered voters prior to the election not only in AjeromiIfelodun LGA, but also in IbejuLekki LGA. This has been a re-occurring decimal in Lagos state.
Overtime, one of the problem Nigeria faces during general election is that political socialization could be observed through the campaign of calumny that is dominated by the media. This problem in the Nigerian society, has led the agencies of political socialization particularly, the media to do little in mobilizing the citizenry (voters) to identify with the symbols and institutions of the political system. Over the years, this has made the Nigerian media, particularly the newspaper sector and televisions remain as highly political as ever. During the preparation for the 2015 general election for example, the campaigns, particularly in the social media at some point were completely turned into an exercise of insults exchange as well as abuses and counter-abuses by supporters. This is obviously damaging to political socialization in the country. Although, the bulk of social media campaigners are made of young people and are not officially recognized as part of the campaign team of the candidates, but that does not in any way underestimate their relevance or that of their activities.
Most Nigerians show greater sentiments, allegiance and loyalty to their ethnic groups, families, kinsmen or religious affiliations, rather than the state (country), which has made the political socialization in the country shaky. This situation has given rise to counter political attitude, which is inimical to socio-economic and political development of the nation.
The political power, manipulation of census figures, electoral frauds, siphoning of public treasury, among others are visible manifestations that most Nigerians lack faith in Nigeria‘s socio-economic and political systems. Put simply, such citizenry have not been mobilized by various agencies of socialization to be committed to the ideals of nation building. This situation accounts for why political leaders cannot deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerian society.
1.3 Research Questions
The research questions guiding this study are as follows:
- To what extent has political socialization helped in the local government areas?
- What are the pattern of political socialization that have been put in place to bring about political conscientization in the local government area?
- Has thesepattern of political socialization helped in shaping voters attitude?
1.4 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study is to compare the political socialization on voter’s attitude in AjeromiIfelodun local government area to IbejuLekki local government area of Lagos State.
The specific objectives are;
- To compare and ascertain the differences that exists in the level of political socialization in the two local government areas
- To identify the pattern of political socialization that have been put in place to bring about political conscientization in the local government area.
- To investigate the impact of thesepattern of political socialization in shaping voters attitude
- To make recommendations and proffer solutions where there exist any flaws related to the subject matter of the study.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study, when completed, will be handy and help bridge the gap between low level of political socialization and general political behavior, which will go a long way in curtailing the numerous problems that result from voter’s attitude and participation during election process. Furthermore, this study will serve as a handy guide for subsequent elections in Nigeria. Also, this current work will go a long way in helping prospective researchers in the area of political socialization and voter’s attitude, thereby serving as a reference material. More importantly, the outcome of this study will be useful for government policy making.
This study covers the inhabitants which includes (men, women, students, traders, civil servants, and even the unschooled individuals) in both AjeromiIfelodun and IbejuLekki local government areas of Lagos State. As a result of how vast the population of the study will be and how impossible it is to interact with every member of the population, a hundred and fifty (150) respondents shall be considered.
The random sampling techniques will be adopted in this study in order to ensure that, every member of the population has equal and independent chances of being selected in the sample to be studied.
Data for this research shall be obtained or gotten from primary and secondary sources. The primary source of data will be the use of questionnaires in order to get firsthand information from respondents in the population of study. While, the secondary source of data in the study is going to be book, monographs, journals, articles and government reports that relate to the topic of this study.
The instrument of data collection shall be questionnaire. The questionnaire format and response modes is the Fixed-Alternative Question – a form of structured questions in which, respondents are provided with pre-determined responses from which to choose. The questionnaire shall be divided into three sections A, B, and C. section A entailing the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents which include; sex, age, occupation. Section B focus on the knowledge of the respondent on political socialization, while section C entails the respondent’s voter attitude.
Data will be collated, described and analyzed using descriptive statistics tools. The descriptive statistical tool necessary for this study is the frequency table which will be used to show percentages and totals, where necessary.
Keywords: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION AND VOTER’S ATTITUDE IN AJEROMI IFELODUN AND IBEJU LEKKI LGA OF LAGOS STATE
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