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Making Sense of Political Participation. A qualitative study of Norwegian adolescents

Kjetil Børhaug

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The topic for this article is how adolescents find political participation meaningful. Sixteen 17 year old Norwegian students were interviewed about political participation and what could make such participation meaningful for them. The students had surprisingly traditional ideas on political participation. Their understanding was mainly in line with conventional representative, competitive elite democracy. This model sufficed to make them see political participation as intelligible and they all expected to be moderately politically active later on.

Keywords: Political participation – adolescents – political education – Norway – secondary education