Political Socialization

For the past six years I have gone to the same barber and have received the same fifteen dollar haircut that we (the barber and I) have come to label as the “Southern Swoop” (also previously known as the Democrat, the Kennedy, or in some places the Republican). I usually tip my barber five dollars, totaling the expenditure to a twenty dollar trip which on a college student budget is expensive. The haircut style has remained consistent in not only accenting my facial features and incongruent hairline, but also in helping me remember where I land on the political spectrum. My hair naturally folds over to the left, so naturally when someone asks of my stance on a political issue or what side am I biased towards my reply for the past six years has always been, “Well, my hair falls to the left and my politics to the right.”

Contrary to common belief there is a deeper meaning behind my response, also contrary to common belief there is a political allegory to be derived from my response depending on the listener’s ability to withstand the driving sensation to abandon the conversation as a result of the ridiculous, and at times, obnoxious attempt to metaphorically relate a simple haircut and its influence on my political stance.

My political awareness did not start shaping until after I graduated high school, though fundamentally I figured that all politics began and ended in the White House. It wasn’t until my first year at Texas Tech while taking a Sociology class, my professor emphasized that politics is not confined to the government, that in fact politics were evident in every aspect of life. By the end of the semester I had come to the conclusion that politics is just the mediation of two means. I was studying economics the same semester and had just realized how economics is not confined to the business world so while also searching how deeply infused economics is in the social world I also began my hunt to see just how important and influential politics had become in our daily lives.

Retrospectively I have always been intrigued in how economics and politics coincide and interact within our social lives. Economics in my opinion is the search of efficiency and effectiveness of scarce resources; economics has taught me to look for efficiency in scarcity and because of this, I have become a fiscal conservative. My international economics professor once asked that if you had a friend who was in debt, would you suggest opening up another credit card in order to pay for that debt. That would be fiscally irresponsible on the individual’s part. The way I see it, is if we as a country are to expect our government to be fiscally responsible, then we as individuals must hold the same core values of monetary principles. How we as citizens handle our bank accounts and assets correlates to how we handle our social issues.

One could say that we as humans are scarce resources. At least that is how I have come to see human life, which has its roots in my belief system. Sociological speaking the belief system, or the core values, of a person generally start at the home, the government of the household. (I think something interesting to note is the transformation of America’s political culture as it relates to the transformation of America’s typical household make-up). The fact of the matter is that the government starts at home. The belief system of the country start at home. The core values of our youth start in the household, on this thesis hinges my political stance as far as social issues go; this same school of thought also leads into my strong support of states’ rights. The reality is that just as the households are what make up the community, the states are what make up the country. For my household my belief system is Christianity and for my country my belief system is the United States Constitution. I can only hope the citizens of this country will agree with me.



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