To Read/Review: Part 1
The next factor that determines a conservative or liberal nature occurs during the childhood. Who and how you were raised and where you spend your formative years play a crucial role in one’s social development.
Who raised you is important because many people tend to emulate their parental role models. How you were raised matters of how you see the world. If raised in an authoritarian environment, typically, you will be taught to respect authority, hierarchy and the importance of tradition. This environment would be conducive to producing or reinforcing a conservative mindset whereas, being raised in a nurturing and less structured environment would favor a more liberal mindset.
As for where you were raised, consider this political example, in virtually every presidential campaign at least one politician will exclaim an opponent, “has big city values and doesn’t share the values of us “Real” Americans!”
Why is that?
Well, it’s a simple way of saying rural vs. urban.
If you read or follow politics it is common to hear how big cities are “being run by and destroyed by liberals!” Of course, on the reverse side, you may hear a common retort stating, “check the public education rankings and those ranked at or near the bottom will be conservative states!’ The impact of where one grows up cannot be understated, so, I will expand on the being raised in the “country” versus “big city” storyline.
Imagine two identical twins: one raised in New York City, while the other grows up in a small West Virginian town. Despite having identical DNA their cultural and environmental differences would drastically differ.
For instance, the New York City chap would be exposed to a diverse culture of over 8 million people. New York City is a cultural center of the world with widespread availability to the arts, education, and technology. Our “city” boy would also be exposed to numerous cultures and subcultures (such as multiple minority and immigrant groups). More than likely, he would even have friends that were diverse and different than him! All of these factors would work together to open our “city” boys mind to a big world while reducing his fear of the unknown. Thus, the urban environment would encourage the development of a liberal mindset. How would our twin growing up in West Virginia be radically different?
To answer that question, let’s imagine the population of the West Virginia town is slightly under 20,000. The “country” boy would likely not experience much cultural diversity. His family, friends, and neighbors would be homogenous in color, religion and likely share similar backgrounds and thoughts. It is highly plausible that being different in his environment would be viewed in a mostly negative light of discourse and distrust.
He would oft hear, “If I don’t agree with it, it’s wrong!” Or other variations that basically state all strangers and those with different looks or different thoughts are dangerous or even demonic. It would not be uncommon for this boy to be taught to “not ask questions” and that “knowledge is the devil!” Can you see how and why these differing backgrounds go a long way in shaping our perception as we grow into adulthood?
See as we grow into adulthood so much of our world perception has already been shaped by environment and experience.
Some will choose to venture and explore the world with open eyes and great enthusiasm but most will choose to stay within the confines of their comfort zone. This will lead to an adulthood comprised of like-minded friends that often reinforce our own opinions and beliefs.
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The next update shall examine a survey (aka “social” experiment) that was conducted using some of my own adulthood friends and peers.