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Political rationality: Young Danish and Norwegian immigrant citizens and their political reasoning

Solhaug Trond, Niels Nørgaard Kristensen

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This article aims to uncover the dynamics of political reasoning among young immigrants. How do they people reason about the larger social and political world around them and what rationalities are in play? A dynamic approach is used to analyze cognitive functioning. A model of political reasoning combining identities, emotions, and information is suggested and examined empirically. In a qualitative study the reflectivity of the students and their willingness to act as rational and responsible citizens is evaluated. Based on a selection of young Danish and Norwegian immigrant students, the dynamics between the elements of the model are explored. In the analysis, some identities play a decisive role, while emotions seem fairly often to be the trigger and the mechanism of political action.

Keywords: political rationality – immigrants – political reasoning – young people – students