Uninterested youth? Young people's attitudes towards party politics in Britain

Henn, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1063-3544, Weinstein, M. and Forrest, S., 2005. Uninterested youth? Young people's attitudes towards party politics in Britain. Political Studies, 53 (3), pp. 556-578. ISSN 0032-3217


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Following the outcome of the 2001 and 2005 General Elections, when the numbers of abstainers outweighed the numbers of Labour voters on both occasions, much attention has focused upon the state of British democracy and how to enthuse the electorate, especially young people. While the government is exploring ways to make the whole process of voting easier, it may be failing to tackle the real problem - that youth appear to find the business of politics uninviting and irrelevant. This paper examines data derived from a nationwide survey of over 700 young people in order to shed light on what lies at the heart of young people's apparent disengagement from formal politics in Britain - political apathy or a sense of political alienation. The findings reveal that they support the democratic process, but are sceptical of the way the British political system is organised and led, and are turned off by politicians and the political parties. However, there is no uniform youth orientation to politics, and the data indicate that views differ according to social class, educational history, and also gender. However both ethnicity and region of the country in which young people live seem to have little influence in structuring political attitudes and behaviour.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Political Studies
Creators: Henn, M., Weinstein, M. and Forrest, S.
Publisher: Blackwell
Place of Publication: Oxford
Date: 2005
Volume: 53
Number: 3
ISSN: 0032-3217
Rights: © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:19
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:26
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11262

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