Research in Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 535–554 | Cite as

Undergraduate political attitudes: An examination of peer, faculty, and social influences

  • Eric L. Dey


A socialization perspective is used to examine the processes through which undergraduate student political attitudes are influenced by peers, faculty, and social trends. Using the model of undergraduate socialization provided by Weidman (1989) as a framework, I examine how the normative contexts of college campuses and students' interactions with peers and faculty serve to influence the political orientations of students, net of precollege and college characteristics. Based on longitudinal data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, the results indicate that student orientations change in ways quite similar to trends observed more generally, and that peer and faculty normative contexts tend to have a positive influence of equal magnitude on political orientations of students.


Research Program Undergraduate Student Longitudinal Data Positive Influence Social Influence 
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© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric L. Dey
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary EducationUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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