Studies have established that socialization takes place in different stages of life. This study explores how political socialization occurs at The College of Wooster by examining changes in students' political identities as well as their perceptions towards a politicized issue, that is, climate change. These shifts in beliefs and concerns among students were evaluated by implementing quantitative research tools present in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and constructing a similarity network using Gephi to explore similarities across students at this institution. The results revealed that students have become more liberal after joining this college. The study also found that students have become more concerned about environmental issues, and have become more likely to practice behaviors that favor environmental sustainability. The findings also disclosed that the students' college peers were the most influential in inducing these shifts. The majority of the students had liberal-leaning identities before joining this college, so this study infers that students have adjusted their attitudes in order to adapt to this new social environment. Consequently, they have created a student body that is more liberal and pro-environmental.


Bostdorff, Denise

Second Advisor

Guarnera, Heather


Communication Studies; Mathematics


Socialization, political socialization, climate change, graph theory, similarity network

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar


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