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ERIC Number: ED309100
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Oct-7
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Socialization and Participation: A Research Agenda for the 21st Century.
Gans, Curtis B.
If one counts both the mid-term and presidential elections, the United States has had the lowest voter turnout of any democracy in the world. In the 1986 election, only 16.6% of the eligible 18-24 year olds voted, and although final census surveys for that year are not yet published, it is unlikely that the turnout for that age group would have risen to a level of more than 30%. While in the 1970's the dominant attitude of non-voters was alienation, studies show the current attitude seems to be indifference. This poses a distinct danger for U.S. democracy in the future. Research is needed on child development and socialization, and on curricula and stimuli throughout the child's formative years. Research is also needed to determine the cause of the embarrassingly low percentage of participation by young voters in the electoral process, and what sets them apart from that much larger group that declines to participate. The effects of television on the perceptions and knowledge structure of students should also be reviewed. Regardless of the attempts made by educators in addressing these problems, until the nation addresses some of the larger issues of the political framework, such as ethical standards in politics and the obfuscatory nature of election campaigns, educators will have little impact on the system or on the students. The paper also includes a three page dialog among graduating seniors on the nature of good citizenship. (PPB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A