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Full Access The Differential Impact of Education on Young People’s Political Activism: Comparing Italy and the United Kingdom

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The Differential Impact of Education on Young People’s Political Activism: Comparing Italy and the United Kingdom

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Abstract It is a common theme in the literature on voter turnout that advanced Western democracies have entered a period of political disengagement and that it is young people, in particular, that participate less. In this paper, I analyse data from the three waves of the European Social Survey and show that while young people are in general less likely to be politically involved than their elders, these differences are greater in the United Kingdom than in Italy. In addition, I show that controlling for education accounts for differences in political participation between young and older people in Italy. However, education does not appear to mediate youth political involvement in the United Kingdom so that normative concerns about youth political disengagement appear to be more appropriate for the latter of the two countries.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Politics, University of Sheffield Elmfield Northumberland Road, Sheffield S10 2TU m.grasso@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract It is a common theme in the literature on voter turnout that advanced Western democracies have entered a period of political disengagement and that it is young people, in particular, that participate less. In this paper, I analyse data from the three waves of the European Social Survey and show that while young people are in general less likely to be politically involved than their elders, these differences are greater in the United Kingdom than in Italy. In addition, I show that controlling for education accounts for differences in political participation between young and older people in Italy. However, education does not appear to mediate youth political involvement in the United Kingdom so that normative concerns about youth political disengagement appear to be more appropriate for the latter of the two countries.

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/content/journals/10.1163/15691330-12341252
2013-01-01
2016-12-06

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