• Allan Damsgaard
4. term, Public Administration and Social Science (Master Programme)
7.0 Abstract of “New Politics among youth” - A qualitative case study of the effect of education on political values in a Higher Preparatory Course (upper secondary level education) A relationship regarding the New Politics cleavage in Denmark (and elsewhere) is continuously claimed to be that education is correlated to political values. This study has the aim of discussing and assessing the possible explanations for political values (New Politics) and partly political involvement, among youth. Thus the central problem is formulated as: What can explain relations between school and New Politics among Higher Preparatory Course students? Taken into account are these three hypotheses: 1. socializing by the school and among classmates in a libertarian environment, 2. the importance of social and political backgrounds as selection or matching of school to values and 3. the presence of political correctness in the institutional context of the school. The Case-study consists of three small focus-groups selected from a class in the city of Aalborg. The focus-groups discussed the following topics: -Various public issues, such as the “Mohammed-crisis”, the Youth-house in Copenhagen. -Their participation in the recent election. -The conception or reputation of the school. -And their families’ role in the youth’s political involvement. Theoretically the study borrows from a wide range of perspectives. Theories of modernity, by Inglehart, account for the importance of New Politics and modernity’s effect upon the young people, by Thomas Ziehe, Johannes Andersen and others. The study is also closely related to the ongoing Danish Election Project and Stubager (2006) on the Danish education cleavage. There seems to be a conception of the school having a special institutional identity of “openness towards others”, among the students. This openness is however limited towards groups socially further away. There also seems to be a certain institutional relationship between the students and school, in which the students experience the school as promoting slacking, and therefore put forward demands of control upon them selves. The importance of family differs roughly in three types, those who use their family as an arena for political discussion, those who primarily seek ideas from the family perhaps on account of indifference, and a third group that apparently form political opinions independently of their family. The political correctness as a phenomenon is related to students’ wish to fit in, despite of having attitudes that are experienced as not belonging to the school or among peers. Also, specifically in the context of the interviews, expressions are kept inside a certain form of discourse, regardless of attitudes. This discourse entails openness towards the opinions and perspectives of others. In sum the school and the effect of education can be said to be related to the formation of New Political values, not only as direct socialisation among peers, but also as an institutional setting with social conventions in discussions.
Publication date2008
Number of pages70
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 14427513