Postmaterialism and young people's political participation in a time of austerity

Henn, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1063-3544, Oldfield, B. ORCID: 0000-0001-6229-5439 and Hart, J., 2018. Postmaterialism and young people's political participation in a time of austerity. British Journal of Sociology, 69 (3), pp. 712-737. ISSN 0007-1315

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Recent trends suggest that young people in Britain are refraining from engaging in formal political processes. At the same time, they are increasingly expressing support for, and turning toward, a new and diverse range of non-institutionalised forms of political action in order to actualise their interests. Using Inglehart's ideas on postmaterialism, we consider whether this apparent rejection of mainstream politics in favour of less conventional - and sometimes radical - forms of political action is changing over time in Britain, reflecting fluctuating economic conditions witnessed over the last two decades. We do this by comparing results from surveys of British 18 year olds conducted in 2002 during an era of relative global prosperity, and then in 2011 at the height of the current global crisis. The findings suggest that British young postmaterialists are considerably more likely than materialists to participate in and support both institutionalised and non-institutionalised forms of political action.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Sociology
Creators: Henn, M., Oldfield, B. and Hart, J.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Date: September 2018
Volume: 69
Number: 3
ISSN: 0007-1315
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Sep 2017 10:44
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 15:18

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