Young People as ‘Active Citizens’: Towards an Inclusionary View of Citizenship and Constructive Social Participation

  • Noel Smith
  • Ruth Lister
  • Sue Middleton


Political interest in ‘active citizenship’ generally centres on young people’s participation in voluntary work. Although not the government’s priority, ‘active citizenship’ can also be approached in terms of more informal political action. However, if these categories are so narrowly conceived that they are not inclusive of the range of forms of social participation in which young people are involved, they have limited value as foci for understanding young people as ‘active citizens’. This chapter is based on a three-year study of young people, ‘Negotiating Transitions to Citizenship’,* which examines how young people recognize and respond to plural models of citizenship.


Young People Social Participation Voluntary Work Active Citizenship Citizenship Education 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel Smith
  • Ruth Lister
  • Sue Middleton

There are no affiliations available

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