Understanding Youth Participation Across Europe
This edited volume presents findings from a major cross-European research project mapping the civic and political engagement of young Europeans in the context of both shared and diverse political heritages. Drawing on new survey, interview and ethnographic data, the authors discuss substantive issues relating to young people’s attitudes and activism including: attitudes to the European Union and to history; understanding of political ideologies; how attitudes to democracy are shaped by political heritage; activism in radical right wing groups and religion-based organisations; and digital activism. These contributions make the book’s case that transnational and multi-method projects can enrich our understanding of how young people envisage their place and role in Europe’s political and civic space. The book challenges methodological assumptions that survey research shows the big picture but at the cost of local nuance or that qualitative research cannot speak beyond the individual case, and demonstrates the added explanatory value of triangulating different kinds of data. Understanding Youth Participation Across Europe will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including Sociology, Political Sociology, Youth Studies and Political and Civic Participation.
This chapter brings new insight to the study of young people’s activism in extreme right groups by considering their activism from a social movement theory perspective. It draws on the meta-ethnographic synthesis of findings of a cluster of ethnographic studies of radical right and patriotic movements conducted for the MYPLACE project, focusing on the emotional and affective dimensions of activism and on three case studies: the English Defence League (UK), Russian Run (Russia) and Torcida (Croatia). It considers the emotional pleasure derived from activism often expressed as going ‘wild’, feeling euphoric, or being overtaken by a physical ‘buzz’, as well as the reciprocal emotions that bind activists through feelings of solidarity and mutual support, expressed as feeling part of ‘one big family’.