Politically alienated or apathetic: young people's attitudes towards party politics in Britain

Henn, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1063-3544 and Weinstein, M., 2004. Politically alienated or apathetic: young people's attitudes towards party politics in Britain. In: B. Linsley and E. Rayment, eds., Beyond the classroom: exploring active citizenship in 11-16 education. London: New Politics Network, pp. 89-98. ISBN 0954598202


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Following the outcome of the 2001 General Election, when the numbers of abstainers outweighed the numbers of Labour voters, much attention has been focussed upon the state of British democracy, and how to enthuse the electorate - and in particular young people, of whom 61 percent chose to stay away from the polling stations. While the government is exploring ways to make the whole process of voting easier (with ideas such as voting over the telephone and the Internet) it may be failing to tackle the real problem. The main challenge is that many young people appear to find the business of politics uninviting and irrelevant to their everyday lives. This paper examines data derived from a nationwide survey of 705 attainers – young people who are eligible to vote for the first-time and who have only limited experience of formal politics. The findings from the study reveal that these young people are not as apathetic when it comes to “Politics” as conventional wisdom would have us believe. Instead a picture is emerging of a British youth keen to play a more active role in the political process, but who appear to be sceptical of the way the British political system is organised and led, and are turned off by politicians and the political parties.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Henn, M. and Weinstein, M.
Publisher: New Politics Network
Place of Publication: London
Date: 2004
ISBN: 0954598202
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 11:02
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:47
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21838

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