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April 13, 2005

the youth "lifeworld"

Before we try to engage young people in politics and civic life, it's important to understand their day-to-day concerns, habits, and background assumptions--what Lew Friedland calls their "lifeworld." As a start, consider the following data from the Reboot survey that I mentioned yesterday (pdf; go to p. 19). Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 said that they were "very worried" about the following issues:

getting a sexually transmitted disease 35%
your grades at school 26%
finding a job when you get out of school 23%
maintaining good relationships with your friends 19%
getting along with your parents 18%
your relationship with God 18%
deciding who to vote for 15%
making sure you are contributing to your community 11%
finding a spouse 7%
finding a girlfriend or boyfriend 4%
I was not surprised to find voting and contributing to the community pretty far down the list. (By the way, people probably overstated their concern for these matters because they know that they should care about them.) I was somewhat surprised to see the risk of STDs at the very top of the survey, and finding a girlfriend or boyfriend at the very bottom. I think my age cohort would have reversed that ordering, even though we came of age after AIDS.

April 13, 2005 7:19 AM | category: education policy | Comments


The poll here is asking if you are "worried". Do you really think your age cohort would be "worried" about finding a significant other?

April 13, 2005 11:06 AM | Comments (2) | posted by Electoral Math

I was!

But it's a good observation. Probably dating doesn't "worry" most people, whereas STD's are purely and simply worrying.

April 13, 2005 11:41 AM | Comments (2) | posted by Peter Levine

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