Millennials are a particularly politically polarized generation. This may be because, social media and cable news have increasingly compromised journalistic integrity by presenting particularly opinionated and over exaggerated news. In addition to the changing news consumption habits of millennials, familial socialization, people mimicking the political beliefs of their parents, may be contributing to increasing political polarization. To examine why millennials are a particularly polarized generation, I interview twelve students of various political backgrounds at an elite liberal arts campus to determine what shapes their political beliefs. As expected, Republicans and Democrats both expressed polarized disapproval of the other sides’ beliefs. Familial socialization had the largest impact on shaping interviewee’s political beliefs with cable news and social media consumption having comparatively less of an impact.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Jaime Kucinskas


Access to this thesis is limited to Hamilton College, Clinton, NY.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.