Knowledge, autonomy and maturity: Developmental and educational concerns as rhetorical resources in adolescents' discussions regarding the age of electoral majority in England

Stephen Gibson, Lorna Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent debates concerning the age of electoral majority in the UK have focused on the levels of knowledge and maturity of young people. However, little research has explored the ways in which adolescents orient to these concerns themselves. In this article, we present analyses from a qualitative interview investigation in Northern England, and explore the ways in which our adolescent participants treated voting as a responsibility which should be exercised on the basis of a rational, autonomous and informed decision. Such arguments were frequently used to argue against a reduction in the age of electoral majority. These findings are discussed in relation to policy and educational debates in the UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-53
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Citizenship
  • Discourse analysis
  • Political participation
  • Rhetoric
  • Voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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