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The school’s role in youths’ political efficacy: can school provide a compensatory boost to students’ political efficacy?
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3408-6829
2015 (English)In: Research Papers in Education, ISSN 0267-1522, E-ISSN 1470-1146, Vol. 30, no 2, 133-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

In the democracies of today, school often have a dual role to play. Not only should they give students the knowledge they need to enter the labour market, they should also teach young people about democracy, and develop students’ capacity to exercise their citizenship. A third task for schools is to enhance political equality in society by supporting the least privileged students. In this study, we explore how school can contribute to increased equality by strengthening students’ political efficacy. Upper secondary students’ political efficacy levels are compared over time by creating four groups on the basis of their educational choices and experiences of the school and teaching environment. The results indicate that school matters for the development of political efficacy, but not in the same ways for all students. Signs of there being compensatory effects of having a positive school/teaching environment are found for students on vocational programmes, but not for those on academic programmes. Moreover, the results suggest that classroom/teaching factors play a more important role than the social environment offered by schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 30, no 2, 133-163 p.
Keyword [en]
political efficacy; school; political equality; democracy
Keyword [de]
Politisches Selbstvertrauen, politische Sozialisation, Jugendliche, politische Gleichstellung, politische Partizipation, Schule
Keyword [sv]
politisk självtilltro, politisk socialisation, ungdomar, politiskt deltagande, politisk jämlikhet, skolan
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-36101DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2014.908408ISI: 000349014100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84922419752OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-36101DiVA: diva2:740420
Available from: 2014-08-25 Created: 2014-08-25 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically 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. 116 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 37
Keyword
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: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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