Detached or involved in public sphere? Biographical trails as catalysts or inhibitors of civic involvement
Institute of Sociology Nicouaus Copernicus University Torun, Poland
Polish youth is less and less present in the public sphere. The reasons for this detachment are quite well recognized: glamour of the consumer culture pulling away young people from public sphere, the nature of democracy itself (the acceptance of lack of participation in public sphere); detachment as a burden inherited from previous generation socialized in the non-democratic system and often convinced of the facade character of the public sphere.
However, there is also quite a significant number of young people (and young adults) involved in public sphere (discussed here in categories other than those of participation in political elections), even though they are socialized and growing up in the same cultural and political context as those detached. What are the reasons for these in-group differences? What are the catalysts or inhibitors of youth civic involvement? Could it be their biographies? And if so, what biographical experiences leave trails that push young people to civic involvement?
These and other questions are answered based on empirical data. The results the paper is based on come from two sources: quantitative pseudo dynamic research of 16, 19 and 30 years old Poles and qualitative data from biographical interviews with young adults (30 years old).