ERIC Number: ED247170
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
What Are American Youth Thinking? An Examination of Political and Social Attitudes of American Youth in the Eighties.
Hepburn, Mary A.
This examination of political and social attitudes of American youth in the 1980's begins with a comparison of the youth of the 1960's with the youth of the 1970's. Results from four major studies are presented and a composite picture of youth in the eighties is presented. Findings show that the personal and professional values of American students today appear to be an intensification of many of the commitments which developed in the seventies toward good jobs, marriage and the family, and general personal fulfillment. The social and economic inequities which were at the core of the concerns of the sixties do not greatly interest the youth of the eighties. However, major contradictions are evident, presenting a disjointed picture of attitude dualities. For example, while there appears to be more conservativism, patriotism, and pride in the country, apathy, cynicism, and lack of involvement also exist. Moreover, while there is widespread agreement that international war/nuclear disaster is the major problem on the minds of youth today, very few have in any way acted on these fears. Four tables present study results showing: (1) ratings of various life goals considered "very important," (2) student political attitudes based on a 1980 survey, (3) college student attitudes toward world issues, and (4) American teenagers' perceptions of freedom in the world. The document concludes with possible explanations for the duality of attitudes found among today's youth. (LH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Social Science Education Consortium and the Bundeszentrale fur politische Bildung (Irsee, Bavaria, West Germany, June 18-22, 1984).