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Pathways to political efficacy: theoretical considerations and empirical illustrations on youths’ acquisition of political efficacy
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Youth & Society)
2011 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

By scrutinizing previous research, I offer a merger of the two research disciplines concerning the concept of political efficacy, i.e. the perception held by individuals of their own abilities to execute actions aimed at producing a change in society. Four pathways for how political efficacy develops, building on the merged perspective, are then tested in a single two-step hierarchical OLS regression. The results show that mastery experiences, role models, encouragement, and empowering outlooks in a political setting are predictors of youths’ political efficacy, over and above the effects of political interest and perceived political knowledge. This study contributes to theorizing about the development of political efficacy by discussing understanding of the concept, with input from both political science and psychology, and by empirically testing an existing multidisciplinary theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 2, no 4, p. 389-417
Keywords [en]
political efficacy, youth, development, political socialization, psychopolitical factors
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-28609OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-28609DiVA, id: diva2:614946
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2013-04-08 Created: 2013-04-08 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Youths' political efficacy: sources, effects and potentials for political equality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Youths' political efficacy: sources, effects and potentials for political equality
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to increase knowledge of political efficacy,both theoretically and empirically. A thorough theoretical discussion iscombined with empirical studies of the development of political efficacy and of its effects on political participation. The results are also discussed in the light of political equality.

In three papers, quantitative data on Swedish adolescents are analyzed. The first paper discusses what political efficacy actually entails. Based on an overview of previous research, a merged multidisciplinary perspective with a focus on people’s beliefs in their capacities to perform political actions is presented. Four main pathways concerning how youths gain political efficacy are tested. The second paper’s main question is whether, and in which ways, schools can help students gain political efficacy. In the light of political equality, it reflects upon the individual and societal effects of potential gains in youths’ political efficacy. The third paper scrutinizes the effects of political efficacy on political participation. In addition, the combinations of having political efficacy beliefs, and political knowledge or interest, are tested in order to explore potential interaction (leverage) effects. Altogether, this dissertation presents a more refined and stringent view on political efficacy. It further clarifies the concept itself, which may aid clearer, more coherent, and less ambiguous research. It also provides an input into an existing framework for understanding the development of youths’ political efficacy. Finally, it finds that political efficacy seems to work as a lever for participation. Combined with political interest, it facilitatesthe transformation of psychological engagement into political action.

The findings will inform discussion on the implications of stimulating youths’ political efficacy to promote political participation and political equality. By boosting political efficacy along various pathways – in part independently of socioeconomic status – political equality may be promoted by benefiting the least advantaged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro university, 2014. p. 116
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 37
Keywords
Political Efficacy, Political Socialization, Youth, Political Equality, Political Participation, School
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-35006 (URN)978-91-7529-038-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Forumhuset, Biografen, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-05-12 Created: 2014-05-12 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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