Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research in Education

Growing into politics?

the development of adolescents’ views on democracy over time

Article

This study focuses on how views on democracy develop during adolescence. A total of 40 Dutch adolescents were interviewed in their second and fourth year of secondary education. The study shows that the interviewed adolescents do become more familiar with politics but do not develop more nuanced views towards democracy. As the adolescents age, a one-dimensional perspective on democracy becomes more apparent. In the interviewees’ perspective, democracy increasingly equals majority rule. Other aspects, such as minority interests and finding consensus, are increasingly neglected. This study, therefore, suggests that adolescents do not ‘naturally’ develop more complex views on democracy when they age.

Reference Nieuwelink, H., ten Dam, G., Geijsel, F., & Dekker, P. (2018). Growing into politics? the development of adolescents’ views on democracy over time. Politics, 38(4), 395-410. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263395717724295
Published by  Centre for Applied Research in Education 1 January 2018