The changing impact of family background on political engagement during adolescence and early adulthood

LLAKES Research Seminar

 

The changing impact of family background on political engagement during adolescence and early adulthood

 

Speaker: Germ Janmaat

Date: Wednesday, 17th February

Time: 13:00-14:00

 

Summary:

In this presentation I examine how the impact of family background on young people’s political engagement changes during adolescence and early adulthood in order to assess the explanatory power of three perspectives on the development of political engagement over the life course. These perspectives are (1) the lifelong openness model, (2) the impressionable years thesis and (3) the family socialization perspective. In accordance with the latter, I hypothesize that the impact of family background should already be observable in early adolescence. I analyse longitudinal data of the British Household Panel Study and Understanding Society and use parental socio-economic status (SES) and politicization as indicators of family background and political interest and intention to vote as indicators of political engagement. I find parental SES to have no effect on initial levels of political interest and intention to vote at age 11 but to be positively related to the change in these outcomes between ages 11 and 17. This indicates that the effect of parental SES becomes stronger over time and that social disparities in political engagement are widening significantly during adolescence. In contrast, parental politicization is positively related to initial levels of political engagement at age 11, which is in accordance with the family socialization hypothesis. I conjecture that the education system amplifies the effect of parental SES by funneling young people into different pathways with different civic learning opportunities and posit this as a hypothesis for future research to explore.  

 

Bionote:

Germ Janmaat is a professor of political socialization at UCL Institute of Education and deputy director of LLAKES. His research concentrates on the effect of education, broadly conceived, on civic values and behaviours, such as tolerance and political engagement. He has published on this topic in a wide variety of journals. His latest book is Education, Democracy and Inequality: Political Engagement and Citizenship Education in Europe, published by Palgrave and co-authored with Bryony Hoskins. The current presentation reports on a research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation. 

 

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Topic: The changing impact of family background on political engagement during adolescence and early adulthood by Germ Janmaat

Time: Feb 17, 2021 01:00 PM London

 

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Meeting ID: 976 3973 6488

Passcode: 263143

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