Civic and Political Disengagement

Christian Smith

in Lost in Transition

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199828029
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919475 | DOI:
Civic and Political Disengagement

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This chapter explores the extent and character of contemporary emerging adults’ political interests and civic engagements. Interviews were conducted during the summer of 2008, exactly when emerging adults would have had reason and opportunity to become politically and civically active. It shows that any heightened interest among emerging adults in politics and civic life evident in the 2008 presidential campaign, as reported by journalists, must have been a temporary blip or mere media hype. The vast majority of the emerging adults interviewed remain highly civically and politically disengaged, uninformed, and distrustful. Most in fact in this study claim to feel disempowered, apathetic, and sometimes even despairing when it comes to the larger social, civic, and political world beyond their own private lives.

Keywords: emerging adults; young people; political participation; political activity; civic engagement

Chapter.  14348 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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