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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Citizens Adrift

The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Citizens Adrift

The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians

Many political observers, struck by low turnout rates among young voters, are pessimistic about the future of democracy in Canada and other Western nations. Citizens in general are disengaged from politics, and young people in particular are said to be adrift in a sea of apathy. Building on these observations, Paul Howe examines patterns of participation and engagement from both the past and present, concluding that young Canadians are, in fact, increasingly detached from the political and civic life of the country. Two key trends underlie this development: waning political knowledge and attentiveness and generational changes in the norms and values that sustain social integration. As Citizens Adrift shows, putting young people back on the path towards engaged citizenship requires a holistic approach, one which acknowledges that democratic engagement extends beyond the realm of formal politics.

360 pages


Table of Contents

Introduction

Part 1: Setting the Stage

1 Democratic Participation in Canada

2 The Wellsprings of Disengagement

Part 2: Political Attentiveness

3 The Evolution of Political Attentiveness: A Six-Country Comparison

4 Political Attentiveness in Canada: The Current Landscape

5 Political Knowledge and Canadian Democracy

Part 3: Social Integration

6 Community Attachments

7 Ascendant Individualism

8 Social Integration and Political Engagement

Part 4: Looking Back, Looking Forward

9 Political Culture in the Age of Adolescence

10 Engendering Engagement among Young Canadians: A Holistic Approach

Appendices

Notes

Works Cited

Data References

Index

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