Though this is not necessarily a problem as those who want to vote should be able, but it could have implications for the theory suggested by campaigners that lowering the voting age could significantly help to address issues of youth disengagement. If politics remains peripheral in the English school curriculum, it is likely that only interested youngpeople will go out and vote as they are the most confident in their knowledge of politics. Most youngpeople do not feel the same level of confidence, as is evidenced by the youngpeople who shared within the focus groups that they would not know who to vote for and therefore would not vote. This was seen in Norway where political interest and participation did not rise after trialling a voting age of sixteen (Bergh, 2013). However, 79.7% of youngpeople surveyed believed that lowering the voting age could get youngpeople interested in politics. This is consistent with Eichhorn’s findings which showed that lowering the voting age in Scotland increased young people’s levels of politicalengagement (Eichhorn, 2018). Those interviewed in the focus groups had faith in the idea that they and many of their peers would educate themselves through research. A few believed that lowering the voting age for local elections would be a good ‘starting point’ to help get youngpeople engaged, with the goal of building up towards being able to vote at sixteen nationally. The survey data showed that roughly 29% of youngpeople would prefer this, however one participant at Greenhead College thought that this might bore youngpeople rather than inspire them. One young person at NCS commented that they did not know the difference between local and general elections. The attitude that local elections were less salient than general elections was felt throughout the focus groups, and perhaps some young peoples’ support for lowering the voting age for local elections rather than general elections stems from this opinion.
21 general election provided us with a range of deep and meaningful insights. By not only looking at Scottish respondents, but being able to contrast them to their RUK counterparts, we were able to distinguish multiple influencing factors on them. Particularly, we were able to at least partially differentiate the impact of the Scottish independence referendum on the population generally and specifically the experience of early enfranchisement. From a research methods perspective ideally only one of the two should have taken place, however, in practice the two occurred at the same time. This however allowed us to gain two important insights: youngpeople in Scotland clearly increased their political participation (both electorally and in non-representative engagement formats) alongside the general increase experienced by the population. Especially in terms of political behaviour we find that the differentiation to the rest of the UK is even more pronounced for those people who got enfranchised to vote for the first time. While for other factors such effects can be explained by parental and school socialisation differences in Scotland, for those variables measuring actual political behaviour, these influences only explained the variation partially.
Many of the trends in participation and engagement outlined above are unlikely to apply to one particular group: Aboriginal youth. For a host of reasons, Aboriginal youth are less likely to engage politically and civically in the same manner or at the same level as other Canadians. This situation reflects partly the history of colonialism, which has created unwillingness on the part of many Aboriginal people to engage in the political system, and partly the weaker socio-economic and educational resources that Aboriginal youth possess as compared with other young Canadians (see Elections Canada, 2003a). As noted by Guérin (2003: 11), “promoting greater involvement by Aboriginal people must be situated within a complex historical, cultural and political context.” As a result, traditional models of political and civic engagement only take us part of the way in understanding their distinct nature. Bedford (2003: 16), for instance, argues that trends such as low turnout rates in federal elections combined with high turnout rates for band elections sit uncomfortably with the “orthodox understanding of electoral participation.” And in spite of an increase in attention directed to Aboriginal engagement, much of this has been directed specifically at electoral participation to the relative neglect of other forms of engagement; even within this relatively small scope, little progress has been made (Ladner and McCrossan, in press). An exception is qualitative research conducted by the Centre for Research and Information on Canada (CRIC) on the civic engagement of Aboriginal people (CRIC, 2005). Ethnicity and immigrant status are also key factors to consider when striving to understand how and why engagement varies among youth. Significant underrepresentation in political institutions and persistent racial biases most likely play a role in shaping the engagement decisions of members of visible minorities; those born outside the country are also likely to reveal unique engagement patterns given their adjustments to the new environment and political system (Gidengil et al., 2004; Jedwab, 2006; Stolle and Cruz, 2005). How these identities matter specifically for youth is not well understood.
This quote could be compared with an early statement made by Siebert, Peterson & Schramm (1956) in which he states that the national press takes on the form and colouration of the social and political setting in which it is grounded. This is a reciprocal relationship; as highlighted by Freire (1970) and is not indicative of new forms of culture transmission online, considering the interchangeability of sender/receiver roles. Tajfel and Turner’s (1986) social identity theory sees some support here, particularly in relation to the notion of in-group and out-group bias, with individual testimonies strongly identifying with others within their age group and those similarly disenfranchised with the current political system. There is also the belief that British politicians are out of touch or distant. This is exemplified by Louise’s description of politics occurring in a “big building” somewhere and the challenge posed by Chris for those politicians to come see how he lives. The role of the British legacy media in this instance can be seen to foster a “hierarchy of credibility” in which youth is demonised for its involvement with non-constitutional forms of politics (Becker, 1967). Overall, this assertion places agenda-setting media organisations outside the jurisdiction of Tajfel and Turner’s (1986) social identity theory, given their ability to create and manipulate group identification. This is demonstrated by Donson, Chesters, Welsh and Tickle (2004) in their paper concerning the coverage of anti-capitalist protests in London and Prague, and can applied to groups such as the British youth who believe themselves ostracised by the existing governmental system (Copeland, 2014; Sukarieh & Tannock, 2015), a point that is prominent amongst the four testimonies here and clearly something that impact their understanding of their own political agency.
Abstract: International studies have shown that the prevalence of mental illness, and the fundamental contribution it make to the overall disease burden, is greatest in children and youngpeople. Despite this high burden, adolescents and young adults are the least likely population group to seek help or to access professional care for mental health problems. This issue is particularly problematic given that untreated, or poorly treated, mental disorders are associated with both short- and long-term functional impairment, including poorer education and employment opportunities, potential comorbidity, including drug and alcohol problems, and a greater risk for antisocial behavior, including violence and aggression. This cycle of poor mental health creates a significant burden for the young person, their family and friends, and society as a whole. Australia is enviably positioned to substantially enhance the well-being of youngpeople, to improve their engagement with mental health services, and – ultimately – to improve mental health. High prevalence but potentially debilitating disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are targeted by the specialized youth mental health service, headspace: the National Youth Mental Health Foundation and a series of Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres, will provide early intervention specialist services for low prevalence, complex illnesses. Online services, such as ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation, Youthbeyondblue, Kids Helpline, and Lifeline Australia, and evidence-based online interventions, such as MoodGYM, are also freely available, yet a major challenge still exists in ensuring that youngpeople receive effective evidence-based care at the right time. This article describes Australian innovation in shaping a comprehensive youth mental health system, which is informed by an evidence-based approach, dedicated advocacy and, critically, the inclusion of youngpeople in service design, development, and ongoing evaluation to ensure that services can be continuously improved.
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Following on from the initial CYCJ meeting, I arranged for the youngpeople to meet up with the relevant staff in SCRA, to try and ensure that the ambition of the youngpeople to have their voices heard and to make a difference, could be fulfilled. We set up a meeting a couple of weeks ago when the youngpeople came in and we talked about their contribution, about how we could better communicate with youngpeople, parents and carers, and about what makes them anxious around the Hearing process and what would help with that anxiety. Further meetings are anticipated and we are asking them for their ideas, we’re getting them to review our communications and tell us what works. The modern apprentices here at SCRA have already been reviewing things and presenting their findings to our board, unedited, and we can show internally that that’s made a difference. Our aim is to show that this group will also make a difference. Our next meeting is set up for March 2015.
accounting for a quarter of the youth population 1 . This is not solely a consequence of the recession. Even before the recession began, across the OECD, youngpeople with low or no skills were three times more likely to be unemployed than those with higher skills 2 . The level of qualification is a good predictor of labour market success – those with higher qualifications are more likely to be employed, and earn more, than those with lower qualifications 3 . For these reasons, active labour market policies for youngpeople have historically and internationally tended to have a strong focus on training (often alongside employment subsidies, work experience and support with looking for work). However successive evaluations have tended to find mixed results for training programmes. This paper seeks to revisit that evidence base; in order to draw conclusions on what
However, concerns for declining participation among citizens (Chun, 2012; Livingstone, Bober, & Helsper, 2011; Ogochukwu, 2014; Putnam, 2000) has led to increased research in this area. The focus of this concern has been on youths as surveys have shown this group is particularly apathetic to political life (Bakker & De Vreese, 2011; Baumgartner & Morris, 2010; David, 2013; Theorcharis & Quintelier, 2014; Ward & Vreese, 2011; Yamamoto & Kushin, 2013). However, while some researches (Seongyi & Woo-Young, 2011; Whiteley, 2011) have found that there is a decrease in youthpolitical participation, others (Chun, 2012; Potgieter, 2013) reported that there is a steady rise in youth’s participation in politics through social media. These conflicting results indicate that there are two paradigms (participation and non-participation) to youth’s engagement in politics.
Regarding the finding showing that women are the main adopters of the declarative hashtags, which are more informational as they simply state their political option, a superficial analysis could lead to the conclusion that there is a conflict between the result found and the theoretical assumptions, since it could be expected that men would also be the main adopters of these more objectively informational and self-directed forms [22,23]. Never- theless, a more refined level of analysis, considering the already mentioned polarization of societies in relations of power and solidarity [10,11], proposes a more complex interpretation: because men are considered occupying more powerful positions in the social hierarchy of modern Latin American societies , they would feel more free to use such overtly influential forms like imperatives. Women, on the other hand, trying to avoid being in direct confrontation - that could be the case if they used imperative forms toward an audience occupying a higher social rank - prefer the declarative ones. For example, in a perspective which claims that both men and women are employing persuasive strategies, it becomes clear that each of them unconsciously chooses the one that is most compatible with the gendered social role expected to be performed.
Over half of survey respondents (51%) said that they were ‘quite interested’ or ‘very interested’ in politics. Youngpeople who said that their family were ‘badly off ’ were more likely to say they were interested in politics. Male respondents were more likely to have strong reactions to politics, saying that they were either ‘very interested’ or ‘completely disinterested’. Female respondents, in contrast, were more like to express more moderate attitudes, such as being ‘not very interested’, ‘neither’ or ‘quite interested’ in politics.
express doubts about the current system of government and are particularly critical of the motives of politicians .
More specific to young people’s criticism of formal politics is that political parties fail to address the policy concerns of the young. We will discuss the socioeconomic status of youth in more detail below, but the positioning by political parties of economic freedom as the foundation of liberty above that of political freedom has often justified a limiting of democratic intervention within the economy. As a result, there has in recent decades been a broad convergence of the economic priorities and policies of the main political parties in Britain. Studies have revealed that as a consequence of this ongoing process, policies that are directed towards the improvement of young people’s economic circumstances are often absent from the rhetoric and policy programmes of political parties [30,31,36]; in this context, the broadly common trajectory of economic policy offered by these parties and their exclusion of youngpeople from policy formation  leaves contemporary youth with relatively little scope to express their preference for alternative socioeconomic policies at elections. A recent exception to the pattern of youth electoral abstention was the upsurge in youth turnout at the 2017 UK General Election. The limited currently available evidence suggests that may have in part reflected youth support for the Labour by that party’s abandonment of the neoliberal economic consensus in favour of manifesto commitments to improve the economic situation of youngpeople and the poor [70,71]. In general, and aside from that particular election case, if political decisions are continuously restricted by adherence to neoliberal guidelines, and if an environment exists in which politicians are framed as typically untrustworthy, then it is perhaps not surprising that youngpeople will reject electorally oriented representative politics and search elsewhere for methods of meaningful politicalengagement .
In particular, most PAN respondents put special emphasis on the need to manage migration, instead of preventing it whilst promoting patriotic feelings among expatriates. Consequently, guaranteeing political rights would ‘provide migrants the means to be part of Mexico wherever they live’ (Jones July 2006). The former PAN deputy and member of the Commission on Population, Borders and Migratory issues, Jose Isabel Trejo Reyes, said in an interview ‘we don’t have to distress ourselves saying that we have to stop the migration phenomenon. I believe in the administration of the migration resources. I think that we have been integrated into the American economy as a matter of fact for 100 years and therefore we should search for the best way to channel those migration resources, a part or a percentage, such as the 4x1 projects [...] but that one who believes that the migratory flow can be stopped is being deluded [...]’ (Jose Isabel Trejo Reyes July 2006). Former deputy and also member of the Commission, Pablo Alejo Lopez Nunez argued that ‘Mexican citizens will continue crossing the border until Mexico can achieve a similar level of development as our neighbouring country, but that will not happen for some years. There are 10 million Mexicans already there that will not come back, but many of their friends and relatives stayed behind and they continue to help them economically month by month. [As you have seen] there is a big majority that did not want to vote in Mexican elections, but we still had to grant them their right, that is the achievement, you cannot force them to vote’ (Pablo Alejo Lopez Nunez July 2006).
This paper has tried to outline pedagogical ways forward for youth workers in relation to making a real, measurable impact on youth racism. The University of Huddersfield is currently designing a larger, second stage of our action research process, a stage designed to test out the approaches, and materials based on those approaches, identified by the first stage and highlighted in 'Open Talk, Open Minds’ (CRE, 1999). Such educational work needs to be done with white youngpeople especially disaffected young men, and we know that youth work can make an impact with that client group. The question remaining is whether Government and other funders of youth work, will invest and show faith in the potential of all youngpeople, or simply write off a section of youth as ‘racist’ and anti-social yobs who are beyond the pale. We choose the latter at our peril. Paul Thomas
At Montgomery school, a school viewed as only relatively effective in relation to soft indicators described in Chapter 3 and with a school-centred focus, none of the youngpeople felt that they had received adequate support and guidance, a view shared by some parents (‘The school should know what the right choice is for Eleanor, I think it is up to the teachers to guide her and I feel they didn’t do that’). Half of the youngpeople had changed their minds about their courses between wave 1 and 2 of the interviews. One of these, Elizabeth, a Year 12 student in Montgomery school, said she had been very confused in Year 11. She wanted to be a nurse but felt she had little guidance and had been given incorrect advice. She had been told that she needed biology GCSE for nursing, so had tried to take it up but had found it too difficult and had dropped it. Subsequently she established that she did not need it as health and social care GCSE was adequate. Elizabeth went to see the Careers Adviser but found him unhelpful ‘he said I had to research it myself, he was no help at all really’. Her advice to current Year 11 students was to start thinking about the whole decision-making process earlier in the year. ‘It’s scary when you get into Year 11, you are thinking about what you are going to do for the rest of your life, so I think support is the main thing you need. Careers Advisers should play a large part in it. I was scared not knowing what to do and I asked them, but they didn’t help me at all, so I realised I just had to do it all myself’.
Adam Cowdray updated the Youth Councillors on activities in the Batley, Birstall and Birkenshaw, describing how work on collecting views of constituents was in progress and that consultations had taken place at Batley Girls High School, Batley Boys and Young Batley Youth Club. The Youth Councillors had encouraged youngpeople in their locality to complete an on-line survey. Adam reported that the work carried out so far had generated valuable discussion and highlighted issues such as money, jobs and opportunities and things to do as key priority issues in the area.
For apathetic voters with low political self-efficacy and/or situational political involvement, scholars argue that misinformation may be more detrimental than a lack of information (Kaid et al., 2007, p. 1095). With the information tide of the digital era, defined by constant sensory overload (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008, p. 193), voters have learned to use shortcuts to make decisions without being fully informed (Kaid et. al., 2007). Misinformation is especially dangerous in an era of targeted political advertising, where apathetic and undecided voters are being targeted by advertisements designed to attract their interests and gain their vote. Consider the concept of collaborative filtering– –a personalized website experience in which users preferences and purchase history are utilized to provide future suggestions of products and content that they will likely prefer (Sunstein, 2001, p. 20). While this concept may sound exciting and convenient for consumers, it may not be as beneficial to deliberative democracy if it consequently serves to cater to narrow interests and prevents exposure to diverse options. For instance, people with certain political convictions may find themselves learning about more political authors who share those same interests and thus strengthen their
Polish research on the reasons why youngpeople account for a lower voter turnout suggests lesser social pressure, smaller interest in politics, poorer life sta- bility and greater geographic mobility. A significant role is ascribed to a different system of values that makes involvement in public affairs a secondary issue for youngpeople. 16 In the early 1990s Krystyna Skarżyńska conducted a study on the political participation of 18- to 20-year-old Polish people, ultimately identifying three groups of mechanisms responsible for political activeness. The first one was the need for political influence and a sense of political effectiveness. Second, there was acceptance of the existing political system, satisfaction with politics. The final mechanism was dissatisfaction with current politics and a sense of political alien- ation. This research showed the respondents to have a great need for social impact. Furthermore, around half of the young subjects perceived politics as a dishonest area and a cynical game, a struggle for power and money. It is worth noting that 9 out of 10 respondents felt the lack of a sense of political effectiveness. 17 The replies Skarżyńska obtained more than 15 years ago were similar to those obtained in the present study. The need to have an impact on the country’s sociopolitical situation was the strongest motivation of active young voters. A weak sense of connection with the actors on the political scene was reported – one-fourth of those polled failed to find anyone with whom they felt an affinity. Moreover, politics was per- ceived in a negative light, as a false/dishonest, self-seeking and discouraging area. Right after the lack of interest in politics, the feeling that “my vote makes no dif- ference in elections” was the category most often mentioned by young citizens. It is rather worrying that these negative attitudes and feelings of youngpeople have remained the same over such a long time, almost two decades, of development of a
3 This shift has not occurred overnight, for example in the 1970s Davies (1979) had noted an increasing requirement from policy makers to specify outcomes from young people’s engagement in youth work. The early years of the Thatcher government also saw an attempt to impose upon youth work a curriculum predicated on outcomes (NYB, 1990; NYB, 1991; NYA, 1992; Ord, 2007). Youth work, and in particular its outcomes, continued to be brought to account under New Labour, with its alignment to the connexions strategy and a focus on NEETs (Smith, 2002; Ord 2007). However open access youth work retained its foothold, as evidenced by New Labour’s influential ‘Transforming Youth Work’ policy (DfES, 2002) which committed local authorities to providing ‘a safe, warm, well equipped meeting place within reasonable distance of home, accessible to youngpeople at times which suits them’ (DfES, 2002: 22).
Fixers is working with a number of youngpeople whose lives have been permanently affected by tragedy on the roads, or who feel strongly about the issue – and they were determined to make their voices heard at the Fixer Nation event as the Government finalises its recommendations.