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Youth politics as multiple processes: how teenagers construct political action in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 000000021940-1811
2016 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

Alternative approaches to power in youth politics are needed to overcome the conceptual dichotomy between youth political action that is either linked to – or delinked from – state institutions. This paper offers an alternative drawn from a study that sought to empirically explore, and build theory upon, how teenagers construct their political action. Our qualitative study among 10 activists aged between 17 and 19 in a medium-size city in Northern Sweden found that youth constructed their political action as four different processes: moving from consciousness to action, moving from personal experience to shared goals, moving from social activities to political activities, and moving from single to multiple arenas. We integrated these processes in the concept Youth Politics as Multiple Processes. Youth efforts to bring about these processes were not always fruitful because, as their political action gained complexity, youth faced greater constraints for recognizing, addressing and challenging power from age-based exclusion, state-centered definitions of politics, and adult disinterest in youth demands. According to our findings, youth constructed political action based in an approach to power that was not state-centered. We linked our findings to youth politics research and social movement theory that similarly proposed alternative approaches to power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
age hierarchies, politics, power, teenagers, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119117DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2016.1166191OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-119117DiVA: diva2:918783
Projects
Young in Botnia – Joint knowledge around Children and Youth’s health and living conditions in the Kvarken region
Note

This work was supported by the Botnia Atlantic programme of European Regional Development Fund under Grant number 00170129 under the project “Young in Botnia – Joint knowledge around Children and Youth’s health and living conditions in the Kvarken region”.

Available from: 2016-04-12 Created: 2016-04-12 Last updated: 2016-05-16

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Coe, Anna-BrittWiklund, MariaNygren, Lennart
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