Youth and Citizenship
Youth Political Apathy
Youth Sites Database
Prof. Lance Bennett
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Although participation in traditional politics such as voting has declined among all age groups since the 1970s, the decline is most prominent among current youth (around 18-25 years old). Some may attribute this disengagement simply to the tendencies of young people, but this claim is inaccurate as today’s youth is more significantly disengaged than the youth of previous generations [see graph below that depicts the decline in voting since 1972; from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement].
This decline reveals what many call the youth political engagement crisis. As a study from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research noted, only 32 percent of 18-25 year olds voted in the 2000 presidential election. This is a clear decrease from the 40.8 percent of the 18-25 year olds who voted in the 1984 presidential election and from the 36.2 percent of 18-25 year olds in the 1988 presidential election. Other studies reveal similar such numbers. Also, the youth engagement crisis is not limited to voting. According to a survey from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, “57% of all young adults are completely disengaged from political and civic life”(CIRCLE, 2002). And perhaps most problematic is that young adults appear to be carrying their political apathy/disengagement into adulthood and potentially continuing a lifelong pattern of avoiding traditional politics.
This website is a research inventory that examines the civic engagement crisis among youth. The inventory contains pertinent research within several categories:
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