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ERIC Number: EJ1061153
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Political Socialization and Political Interest: The Role of School Reassessed
Koskimaa, Vesa; Rapeli, Lauri
Journal of Political Science Education, v11 n2 p141-156 2015
There is a growing concern about the lack of political interest and engagement among Western youth. This has led to a revival of political socialization studies. One recent finding is that (late) adolescence is key to understanding the development of interest for politics. This study builds on this finding by examining political interest among Finnish 16- to 18-year-olds. The intended contributions are twofold. Firstly, unlike most others, this study assesses the fundamental agents of socialization--the home, the school, and the friends--in the same analysis. Secondly, it focuses on the relative impact of the school in a high civic literacy environment. Countries differ from one another in terms of how much civic competence and education is valued and, along with the other Nordic countries, Finland is a typical high civic literacy country. This leads us to expect that the relative impact of the school as an environment for fostering political interest would be higher in the Finnish context than what previous findings from the North American context have indicated (Dostie-Goulet 2009). Our findings do not support that expectation. We find that over 50% of the variation between youth political interest was explained by variations in the presence of politics in the family and among one's friends. The high-performing Finnish educational system or a national commitment to civic participation do not seem to matter much in the role of a socializing actor as far as the development of political interest is concerned.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland