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The political socialization of youth in a post-conflict community


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Reidy, Catherine M. and Taylor, Laura K. and Merrilees, Christine E. and Ajduković, Dean and Čorkalo Biruški, Dinka and Cummings, E. Mark. (2015). The political socialization of youth in a post-conflict community. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 45. pp. 11-23. ISSN 0147-1767

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Political socialization affects the development of young people's attitudes in post-conflict societies. Political socialization may support a movement toward positive intergroup relations, or it may influence the perpetuation of intergroup tensions and divisions. In the context of Vukovar, Croatia, political socialization, for youth growing up in a post-conflict community, involves learning about social relations, including relational power and group status within a multi-ethnic community. The current study examines experiences of political socialization in this context. Qualitative data from ten focus groups, conducted among 11-, 13-, and 15-year-olds, mothers, and fathers of Serb and Croat ethnicity, are analyzed using the constant comparative method. Results indicate a belief in the importance of parents, peers, schools, and the media in the development of youth's political orientations, specifically related to intergroup relations. These attitudes are reflected in the lived realities of youth as political actors through their opinions toward intergroup interactions, their experiences of intergroup contact and conflict, and their beliefs about and recommendations for integrated education. Although some avoided any discussion of war, focus group participants’ predominant perspective reflected beliefs that the political socialization of youth operated to preserve intergroup tensions and division in Vukovar. The paper concludes with a number of policy and intervention implications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political socialization, Intergroup relations, Ethnic conflict, Children, Youth, Croatia
Subjects: Psychology > Socijalna psihologija
Departments: Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2018 10:14
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2018 10:14

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