Based on focus groups and interviews with first-time voters in the UK, this study reflects critically on the role of popular culture as a resource of political engagement. Unlike previous studies it looks at a wide range of popular culture and suggests that entertainment television, video games and popular music provide young citizens with some of the resources they need to actively engage in the public sphere. Young citizens struggle to see the relevance of formal politics in their everyday lives, yet they see themselves as part of a political community and connect with its concerns. They use media texts to learn about social and political issues and to explore the moral values that underpin the society in which they live. While some critics have suggested that the media disconnect citizens from their communities, the findings of this study suggest that media texts are a resource which prepares young people for their engagement in the public sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-351
Number of pages16
JournalCultural Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2013

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