Social values and civic behaviour among youth in Ireland: The influence of social contexts
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Silke, Charlotte, Brady, Bernadine, Dolan, Pat, & Boylan, Ciara. (2019). Social values and civic behaviour among youth in Ireland: The influence of social contexts. Irish Journal of Sociology, 28(1), 44-64. doi:10.1177/0791603519863295
As youth civic engagement is widely considered important for social cohesion and democracy, concerns have been expressed regarding a perceived decline in civic and political engagement among young people throughout the western world. While research has shown that the social environment is influential in terms of the development of civic values, knowledge and behaviours among youth, limited research has been conducted on these issues in an Irish context. Drawing on survey research conducted with 167 young people aged 12–15 years in Irish secondary schools, this paper examines young people's civic attitudes and behaviours and how they are linked to their social contexts. Findings indicate that youth report high levels of social responsibility values but low engagement in both online and offline civic engagement. Furthermore, while parent, peer, school and/or community contexts were found to have a significant influence on youths' social responsibility values and offline civic behaviours, youth's online civic behaviours were not connected to these social environments. This study provides insights into the socialisation of civic values and behaviours among young people in Ireland and highlights the importance of investigating the link between the social context and different forms of youth civic involvement.