Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Thirteen: From News to Political Knowledge: The Roles of Elaboration and Discussion
| 251 →
From News TO Political Knowledge
The Roles of Elaboration and Discussion
EDSON TANDOC AND ESTHER THORSON
For democracy to survive, political participation among its citizens is paramount. One’s inclination to participate in politics, however, is not shaped overnight. Political engagement represents a continuous process that most likely begins in an individual’s formative years, and one’s political socialization begins much earlier than the voting age. It is true, though, that we cannot expect adolescents to display political behaviors that necessarily model the actions of the supposed “good citizen” that are often articulated in our political communication literature. For instance, adolescents are too young to donate money to political campaigns, attend political rallies on their own, or even exercise the most frequent measure of political participation, that of voting during elections.
Though political attitudes are understandably unstable at younger ages, political knowledge represents a measurable aspect of political socialization even among young people (Eveland, McLeod, & Horowitz, 1998). Our attention to political knowledge among adolescents rests on the assumption that such knowledge may well lead to political participation. While the political socialization literature does not entirely agree on whether or not political knowledge among adolescents leads to future political participation, at least one study has demonstrated that political knowledge among adults ultimately influences propensity to vote (Valentino, 2007). Of course, learning about politics can work both ways. While acquiring relevant news regarding election campaigns may...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.