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Young people and political participation: An analysis of European Union policies

Brooks, R (2009) Young people and political participation: An analysis of European Union policies Sociological Research Online, 14 (1).

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There is now widespread recognition that, far from being politically apathetic, young people across Europe are engaged in a wide range of 'political' activities. While turnout at national and European elections among the 18-25 age group may be low, researchers have highlighted diverse and creative new forms of political participation. In relation to young women, in particular, Harris (2005) has presented a compelling analysis of the new 'borderspaces' opened up between public and private domains by young women through the use of new technologies. She contends that in the face of greater surveillance and regulation brought about by the shift to neo-liberal forms of governmentality, carving out a protected space for oneself is a political act, in itself. Moreover, the creative ways in which young women across the world use such spaces - to question dominant narratives about the nature of contemporary girlhood, to resist discourses which construct young women as merely passive consumers, and to trouble conventional notions of 'youth participation' - are highly political. Some EU representatives have indicated an awareness of these new forms of engagement and professed a desire to develop links between them and more traditional forms of party politics and policy making (Hoskins, 2005). Nevertheless, the degree to which these sentiments have been translated into policy remains unclear. This article draws on recent documents on young people, citizenship and political participation to assess the extent to which these new spaces of young women's politics are, firstly, recognised and, secondly, valued within EU policy. © Sociological Research Online, 1996-2009.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 2009
Identification Number : 10.5153/sro.1862
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Published in Sociological Research Online, 14 (1) 2009. Copyright 2009 Sage Publications.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 18 Jul 2014 10:11
Last Modified : 18 Jul 2014 13:33

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