Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Four: Peer Influence in Adolescent Political Socialization: Deliberative Democracy Inside and Outside the Classroom
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Peer Influence IN Adolescent Political Socialization
Deliberative Democracy Inside and Outside the Classroom
MI JAHNG, MITCHELL S. McKINNEY, AND ESTHER THORSON
Political socialization researchers have long focused on how children and teenagers become independent political actors. Decades of political socialization research have shown the importance of family, school, and media in this process and have established the interrelationship among these variables in shaping the political “self” of adolescents. Building on the well-established influence of family, school and mass media, this study focused on the important, yet neglected, role of peers in adolescent political socialization. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the direct influence of peer interaction in adolescent political socialization. Using deliberative democracy as a guiding theoretical perspective, this study examined how talking about politics with peer members—both outside of the classroom in informal conversation and also within the formal classroom setting—can encourage adolescents to engage in different political behaviors.
DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRACY: DEFINITIONS AND APPLICATIONS
Deliberative democracy has long been a key concept for both political science and political communication scholars. Compared to the notion of participatory democracy, deliberative democracy represents a move “toward a view anchored in ← 69 | 70 → accountability and discussion” (Chambers, 2003, p. 308). Kim, Wyatt, and Katz (1999, p. 362) defined deliberative democracy as “a process where citizens voluntarily and freely participate in discussions on public issues.” They added that in a...
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