The Political Geography of Ethnicity and Religion in Young People’s Political Engagement

  • Therese O’Toole
  • Richard Gale
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


So far, many of the interventions this book has made into debates surrounding the political participation of ethnic minority young people have been set out according to a temporal frame of reference. This reflects the principal orientations of these debates towards concern with the apparent continuities, shifts and changes over time that can be identified in how young people politically engage. Hence in Chapter 1, we began by showing how much of the public concern expressed in relation to the political engagement of ethnic minority young people has intensified through crisis narratives on the secular decline in levels of electoral turnout. Whilst it will be apparent that we do not accede to the equivalence that is often established between falling electoral participation and ‘political apathy’, our critique rests upon an investigation of alternative forms of participation and how these relate to more conventional modes. Furthermore, an integral part of this critique rested upon the use of a ‘political biographical’ approach — set out and applied particularly in Chapter 4 — as a way of examining the diverse forms of political action in which activists engaged — including group based, institutional, networked, virtual and everyday forms activism. In Chapters 6 and 7, we developed our analysis of the significance of identities based on ethnicity, race, religion and gender in shaping activists’ engagement across these repertoires of action, relating this to the changing character of cultural theory as it relates to debates on black identity politics, from the beginning of the 1990s to the present.


Young People Political Action Political Engagement Political Geography Electoral Turnout 
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Copyright information

© Therese O’Toole and Richard Gale 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Therese O’Toole
    • 1
  • Richard Gale
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BristolUK
  2. 2.Cardiff UniversityUK

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