chapter  8
22 Pages

Formative Events, Networked Spaces, and the Political Socialization of Youth

ByNeta Kligler-Vilenchik, loana Literat

The 2016 US presidential election has brought into sharp relief the question of citizens’ engagement with and relationship towards politics, with a particular concern for young people. Within the course of birth, life, and death, youth is of particular consequence to political socialization, as the formative experiences of youth and engagement with politics during this time period shape future patterns of participation and engagement. Formative political events that occur during one’s youth often carry particular political significance as one moves further in life, and may come to shape one’s political perceptions. While presidential elections are not typically mentioned as the most important past events in surveys, the election of Donald Trump came as a major surprise given polling data, and indicates a strong break from “politics as usual.” The majority of perspectives on Pixilart are anti-Trump, some express criticism of Clinton as well, showing a more generalized skepticism toward politicians.