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Breaking the law: adolescents' involvement in illegal political activitiy
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Illegal political activity has always been part of a democratic society. Despite this, not much is known about young people’s involvement in these political activities. Research portrays political influence attempts of this kind in different terms; as troublesome for the democratic political system, as expressions of conscious decisions vital for humanity’s future, and yet other times as illustrations of a coming-of-age rebellion. Overall there is a lack of collective knowledge on illegal political activity, and especially in adolescence – the age period when these political activities seem to peak.

The aim of this dissertation is therefore to enhance knowledge of involvement in illegal political activity in adolescence. This dissertation addresses this task in four empirical studies. Results show that mostly boys engage politically with illegal political means. Adolescents involved are also interested in politics, believe in their own abilities to take part in political activities, have long-term political goals, and approve of violent political tactics. In addition, these activities also seem to associate with a challenge of authority. This could be seen in how political dissatisfaction was translated into illegal political activity, and in the way these activities seemed to be reactions to a non legitimized parental authority. Besides authority challenges, these activities are likely the result of important peer relations; influences from peers with experiences of illegal political activity seem to be a most probable answer to why adolescents adopt these political means. Taken together, the results of this dissertation show that adolescents involved in illegal political activity are well-equipped for political involvement, challenge authorities in most contexts of their lives, and are likely to adopt these political means from already involved peers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2014. , 101 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 34
Keyword [en]
illegal political activity, adolescents, political socialization
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-33225ISBN: 978-91-7529-004-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-33225DiVA: diva2:689947
Public defence
2014-03-14, Hörsal P2, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-01-22 Created: 2014-01-22 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Beyond the limits: involvement in illegal political activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond the limits: involvement in illegal political activities
2014 (English)In: European Political Science Review, ISSN 1755-7739, E-ISSN 1755-7747Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2014
Keyword
illegal political activities, legal political activities, adolescence, attitudes toward breaking the law to change society
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34027 (URN)
Note

Artikeln är publicerad

Dahl, V., & Stattin, H. (2016). Beyond the limits : involvement in illegal political activities. European Political Science Review, 8(1), 125–145. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1755773914000435

Available from: 2014-03-03 Created: 2014-03-03 Last updated: 2017-05-02Bibliographically approved
2. The origins of adolescents’ involvement in illegal political activities: a function of demographic background, political dissatisfaction, affective commitment, or political
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The origins of adolescents’ involvement in illegal political activities: a function of demographic background, political dissatisfaction, affective commitment, or political
2013 (English)In: Politics, Culture and Socialization, ISSN 1866-3427, Vol. 4, no 2, 201-225 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although great steps have been made to understand young people’s political participation in general, one dimension that remains understudied is involvement in illegal political activity. With data for 2,012 Swedish teenagers, surveyed annually for two years, this study begins to bridge this gap by examining the extent to which demographic background, political dissatisfaction, affective commitment, and political communication explain adolescents’ involvement in subsequent illegal political activity. Analyses confirmed that boys were more inclined than girls to illegal political activity, as were adolescents with higher levels of perceived lack of system responsiveness. When in simultaneous examination with these two factors, affective commitments and political communication did not predict involvement in illegal political activity at the second measurement. In sum, findings suggested that gender and dissatisfaction explain the origins of adolescents’ use of illegal political activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Verlag Barbara Budrich, 2013
Keyword
illegal political activity, adolescence, demographic background, political dissatisfaction, affective commitment, political communication
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34028 (URN)
Available from: 2014-03-03 Created: 2014-03-03 Last updated: 2015-03-02Bibliographically approved
3. The role of family experiences for adolescents’ attitudes toward and participation in illegal political activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of family experiences for adolescents’ attitudes toward and participation in illegal political activity
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Behavioral Development, ISSN 0165-0254, E-ISSN 1464-0651, Vol. 40, no 1, 11-20 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

This study used reactance theory as a starting point to explain what role a perceived undemocratic and controlling family has for adolescents’ attitudes toward illegal political activity. We also examined whether adolescents’ readiness to use illegal political means was related to actual political behavior, which has been lacking in research. Data came from a longitudinal two age-cohort sample of 720 adolescents (MC1 = 13.44; MC2 = 16.62) collected in a mid-sized city in Sweden. Results showed that adolescents who perceived their families as undemocratic and controlling increased in readiness to use illegal political means over time. In addition, older adolescents’ attitudes were associated with actual political behavior. This highlights the role a perceived family environment has on adolescents’ political identity development in today’s democratic societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016
Keyword
family processes, illegal political activity, political attitudes
National Category
Political Science Psychology
Research subject
Political Science; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34029 (URN)10.1177/0165025414558854 (DOI)000366603500002 ()2-s2.0-84951275250 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2014-03-03 Created: 2014-03-03 Last updated: 2016-01-08Bibliographically approved
4. Peer networks and the development of illegal political behavior among adolescents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Peer networks and the development of illegal political behavior among adolescents
2014 (English)In: Journal of research on adolescence, ISSN 1050-8392, E-ISSN 1532-7795, Vol. 24, no 2, 399-409 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examined to what extent peer influence explains the development of illegal political behavior controlling for peer selection, legal political peer influence, and gender effects. Late adolescents who filled out questionnaires at two annual measurements were used in a longitudinal social network approach (N = 1006; Mage = 16.62). Results showed that peers’ involvement in illegal political behavior predicted adolescents’ increases in illegal political behavior. Adolescents did not select other peers with similar illegal political behavior. Nevertheless, adolescents selected peers with similar legal political behavior. Findings were discussed in light of a stage process where adolescents initially chose peers with similar legal political behavior. Subsequently, peers influence adolescents on both legal and illegal political behavior.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-34031 (URN)10.1111/jora.12072 (DOI)000337571500015 ()2-s2.0-84901409973 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-03-03 Created: 2014-03-03 Last updated: 2017-02-01Bibliographically approved

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