Date of Thesis

Spring 2019

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Major

Political Science

First Advisor

Chris Ellis

Keywords

Youth Participatory Rates, American Politics

Abstract

Young people involvement in the political system has long been viewed through the negative lens of claims that the younger generation is not participating enough. Political scientists, strategists, and older citizens assert that the youth is uninvolved and uninterested. In this thesis, I sought to examine how, in 2019, young people are viewing their involvement within the political system. This was done in an effort to claim that young people are participating, but not through the traditional processes. My hypothesis is that young people are finding more fulfillment in participating in nontraditional modes of political involvement, the reasoning behind the shift is due to the fact that through traditional modes they are not feeling heard or validated through the political system. My thesis works through an analysis of the reasoning behind why young people are removing themselves from the more universally accepted modes of participation. The results however show three major themes. First, young people are not fond of social media as a means of obtaining political educations as the narrative may imply. Secondly, civics courses should be reinstated in high schools to teach students the importance of participating in all elections, local and national. Thirdly, young people do seem to desire a return to normalcy in the political system. Overall, in order to bring the youth back into the fold of the political process the system must do a better job of incorporating their political wants.

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