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Political Socialization in a Media-Saturated World


Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah

The studies that comprise Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World synthesize, question, and update our knowledge of political socialization that has accumulated over the past 40 years of related research. The scholarship advances innovative theoretical perspectives and develops new models of the socialization process that revolve around the key social structures of family, media, peers, and school. The Hierarchy Model of Political Socialization, in particular, provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for organizing and analyzing youth responses to the political. With research that spans multiple election cycles across nearly a decade, and data drawn from a national panel study that allows for cross-generational comparison, the findings and models of political socialization presented provide the most comprehensive and in-depth examination of youth political socialization that exists to date. This book provides a foundation and research agenda for examining the Millennial generation in the coming years as these citizens mature to adults and become the driving force of society and our polity.
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Chapter Nine: Predictors of Youth Voting: Parent-Child Relationships and Young Adult News Use


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Predictors OF Youth Voting

Parent-Child Relationships and Young Adult News Use


What can families do to help kids grow into young adults who are politically engaged? Young people’s traditional political engagement is changing in nature and perhaps even declining (Bennett, 2008; Dalton, 2008, 2009). Part of our nation’s gradual decline in voting rates overall is a generational shift to young adults who typically vote less frequently than older citizens (Flanigan & Zingale, 2010).Young citizens see their civic duty as somewhat distinct from one’s duty to show up at the polls armed with the news information that is the hallmark of a concerned citizen (Wattenburg, 2012). Despite gains in their electoral participation beginning in 2004, young adults still vote at just over half the rate of seniors, and far below the rate at which today’s seniors voted when they were young, decades ago (File, 2013).

Among the many proposals for boosting youth political engagement is the idea that citizenship should start at home. Parents are urged to set a good example or to enforce particular media and participation behaviors during childhood; and civics interventions in secondary schools are proposed as a backup to the family (Campbell, 2006; Finkel & Smith, 2011; Galston, 2004). The purpose of this study is to explore relationships between characteristics of an adolescent’s family and that same person’s later engagement as a young adult...

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