On the margins of democratic life: The impact of race and ethnicity on the political engagement of young people

Kim Fridkin, Patrick Kenney, Jack Crittenden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors surveyed Anglo, African American, Latino, and Native American eighth-grade students in six middle schools from one U.S. county in 2003 and 2004. The goal of the project was to compare the attitudes of young people about politics and government at an early age to determine whether differences existed before high school. The authors found that minority and Anglo children differ dramatically in their skills and information levels about politics and government. Anglo adolescents are more likely to have rudimentary information about politics and government, practice democratic skills in school and at home, and hold positive attitudes toward politics and government. Among minority students, Native Americans have the least information, fewest opportunities to practice democratic skills, and most negative attitudes toward the political system. The authors also found that children's political experiences, captured by their ethnicity and race, affect their levels of political information and attitudes about government, after controlling for students' family and school resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-626
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Participation
  • Political engagement
  • Political knowledge
  • Political socialization
  • Race and ethnic politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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