Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Fourteen: Communication Norms, Contexts of Socialization, and Youth Civic Development
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Communication Norms, Contexts OF Socialization, AND Youth Civic Development
NAM-JIN LEE, DHAVAN V. SHAH, AND JACK M. McLEOD
Scholars and researchers working on political socialization have long recognized the importance of communication in socializing young people into competent and active citizens. In particular, a growing body of recent scholarship draws our attention to how interdependent communication processes located in the family, schools, media, and peer networks, jointly and independently, cultivate civic norms and competencies among young people (McLeod, 2000; Shah, McLeod, & Lee, 2009; Shah, Thorson, Wells, Lee, & McLeod, 2014). Turning away from the static functionalism that emphasized the acquisition of skills and norms for the maintenance of a political system, this recent wave of research on youth socialization has shifted its focus onto how young citizens develop key capacities and motives that are necessary to participate meaningfully and effectively in civic life (Bennett, 2008; McLeod & Shah, 2009). This view highlights the centrality of communicative phenomena in the home, at school, among peers, and through media in the growth of citizens’ democratic competencies and engagement motivations.
Notably missing in this rising interest in the communicative aspect of youth socialization processes, however, is any serious scholarly attempt to examine the role of various communication norms in influencing youth communication behavior in various sites of political socialization. The neglect of communicative norms is particularly noticeable in comparison with considerable bodies of research that incorporated social...
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