Beyond apathetic or activist youth 'Ordinary' young people and contemporary forms of participation

Harris, Anita, Wyn, Johanna and Younes, Salem (2010) Beyond apathetic or activist youth 'Ordinary' young people and contemporary forms of participation. Young, 18 1: 9-32. doi:10.1177/110330880901800103

Author Harris, Anita
Wyn, Johanna
Younes, Salem
Title Beyond apathetic or activist youth 'Ordinary' young people and contemporary forms of participation
Journal name Young   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1103-3088
Publication date 2010-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/110330880901800103
Volume 18
Issue 1
Start page 9
End page 32
Total pages 24
Place of publication India
Publisher Sage
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract This article addresses the changing nature of participation for young people. Our analysis is framed by the fragmentation of traditional institutions and the increasingly unpredictable nature of life trajectories. As a result, the identification of a crisis in young people’s engagement has become a recurrent theme in the literature, alongside a burgeoning interest in new forms of (sub)cultural participatory practices. We argue that there is further complexity in the reshaping of participation in times of social change, especially for a broad ‘mainstream’ of young people who are neither deeply apathetic about politics nor unconventionally engaged. Drawing on a research project with 970 young Australians, the article suggests that many young people are disenchanted with political structures that are unresponsive to their needs and interests, but that they remain interested in social and political issues and continue to seek recognition from the political system. At the same time, their participatory practices are not oriented towards spectacular antistate activism or cultural politics but take the form of informal, individualized and everyday activities.
Keyword youth participation
everyday politics
civic education
youth citizenship
main-stream youth
young women and politics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 53 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 75 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 21 Mar 2010, 00:00:24 EST