The Contingent and Contextual Resources of Identity Construction
Young people’s political involvement and interest is often assumed to be low, and their political views seen as no more than repeated opinions from parents or the media: this chapter challenges these assumptions. It firstly examines the contingent and contextual resources used by young people to construct narratives of political identity: their knowledge of local society and of recent events shows their facility to harness and reflect on contemporary events in actively constructing personal narratives. Secondly, the chapter examines how media were used to support narratives of the socio-political, including traditional and new social media. Most young people were critically reflective about the media, showing a level of sophistication that does not always seem to be recognised. Thirdly, this chapter examines some of the other social contexts in which these political constructions might be being made: these resources are interwoven into coherent narratives in the context of a particular moment of discussion, with family, friends, and sometimes with teachers.
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