At the beginning of this chapter we said that what it means to be Texan is continually undergoing redefinition by the complex interplay of diverse historical, institutional, economic, geographic and social forces. The process by which this complex interplay shapes individual social and political identities and value systems is known as political socialization, a process that begins practically from the moment we are born.
One's parents are the first and perhaps most influential agents of socialization. But this process continues throughout our lives as we become exposed to ever broader social spheres. Other influential agents of socialization include the rest of our family, friends, school, religion, and popular culture.
The rest of this section explores the processes and forces by which we as individuals adopt, perpetuate, and change our political culture. These forces reinforce continuity over time, while also permitting change - sometimes evolutionary change and sometimes more dramatic change. The balance between continuity and change in Texas politics and society is a recurring theme in all of the chapters of Texas Politics.