ABSTRACT

This chapter describes research undertaken between 1987 and 1989 in the north of England, aimed at exploring the political attitudes and values of girls educated in private schools, focusing on both the content and process of their political socialization. The framework of the study was social–psychological, aiming to integrate the investigation of structural factors with psychological factors in exploring the political socialization of those in private schools. In investigating the development of attitudes and values in young people, the research is exploring one aspect of youth socialization, a concept utilized within both sociology and psychology. Socialization is seen as being characterized by certain key features. The chapter details the content of the political values and attitudes of the private- and state-educated girls interviewed. Recent evidence has suggested low levels of interest in politics among most groups of young people.