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ERIC Number: ED498899
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Millennials Talk Politics: A Study of College Student Political Engagement
Kiesa, Abby; Orlowski, Alexander P.; Levine, Peter; Both, Deborah; Kirby, Emily Hoban; Lopez, Mark Hugo; Marcelo, Karlo Barrios
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
In 1993, The Charles F. Kettering Foundation published "College Students Talk Politics," a national study conducted by the Harwood Group and based on focus groups on ten American campuses. The study found, among other things, that students considered politics "irrelevant" to their lives and saw little purpose in ever actively participating in the political system. The authors wanted to know whether and how college students' civic engagement had changed after almost 15 years of tumultuous political events and work by colleges and universities. Therefore, in 2006 and 2007, they interviewed college students, the majority of whom belong to the Millennial Generation (born after 1985). They designed their methodology to produce a comparable sample to the 1993 Harwood Group report. They spoke with undergraduates in focus groups on 12 four-year college and university campuses across the United States. In total, 386 student participants were involved in 47 focus groups (three to five groups on each campus). They also asked the students to complete a brief written survey at the conclusion of each focus group. Findings from the focus groups and the survey include: (1) Today's college students are more engaged than Generation X was; (2) Millennials are involved locally with others but are ambivalent about formal politics; (3) Millennials dislike spin and polarized debates and seek authentic opportunities for discussing public issues; and (4) Colleges and universities are providing very unequal levels of opportunity for civic participation and learning. The following are appended: (1) Methodology; (2) Demographics; and (3) Survey Toplines. (Contains 3 graphs, 14 footnotes, and 29 tables.)
Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). University of Maryland, School of Public Policy, 2101 Van Munching Hall, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-2790; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Charles F. Kettering Foundation, Dayton, OH.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A