Methodological Principles and Practice
Edited By Michael Grenfell and Frédéric Lebaron
Education, Social Class and Politics: The Political Space of Swedish Youth in Uppsala
← 226 | 227 → YLVA BERGSTRÖM AND TOBIAS DALBERG
Education, Social Class and Politics:The Political Space of Swedish Youth in Uppsala
The decline in citizens’ political participation in Western societies has been of growing interest for academics over the past few decades. It can of course be identified as a potential risk to the political systems in terms of losing their legitimacy and undermining key relationships between citizens and the state, many of which are sustained by political parties (Putman 2000). Of much concern is young citizens’ absence from political parties and their disengagement in local political communities (Michelletti 2003). However, going hand in hand with the trend of decline in political party membership and party activism, contemporary research recognizes the rise of relatively new forms of political participation, having their origins in wider social and technological changes (Inglehart 1971). This mode of political activism includes consumer politics, demonstrations, public protests and ‘sit-ins’ and canvassing. Along with social forums like global justice campaigns, this has changed the landscape of possible action and offers new arenas and alternatives to traditional forms of political activities such as joining a political party. It is also recognized that these political movements are far from homogenous. They consist of diverse interests ranging from social justice, environmental protection and human rights issues to formerly more traditional issues of economic redistribution and labour politics and seem to resemble a diverse group of activists with a heterogeneous social background (Pakulski 1995)...
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