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Young people's intentions about their political activity

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We discuss some implications for citizenship education, based on a survey of young people in four European countries in which they were asked how they think they will act politically when they are adult. The empirical sections of the article are based on a survey of 2,400 students aged between 11–17 in 2008–2009 in Poland, Spain, Turkey and England. This study is discussed within the broader context of a widespread concern about a so-called 'democratic deficit', and in particular about the political apathy of youth. We suggest that young people appear to intend to act in very similar ways as adults do. We raise questions about expectations of political activity, especially concerning particular kinds of political behaviour, about young people's own intentions, and about what might be an appropriate educational response to these intentions.
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Keywords: ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP; APATHY; PARTICIPATION; POLITICAL ACTIVITY; POLITICAL INTENTIONS; YOUTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2010

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  • Citizenship Teaching and Learning is global in scope, exploring issues of social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. It advances academic and professional understandings within a broad characterisation of education, focussing on a wide range of issues including identity, diversity, equality and social justice within social, moral, political and cultural contexts.
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