conference on youth civic engagement

I’m spending today and tomorrow at the Life Cycle Institute, Catholic University. Jim Youniss of Catholic and I have jointly planned and organized a conference on youth civic engagement that aims to make the “institutional turn” that I’ve written about before. Usually, when we discuss why young people don’t vote or follow the news, we think in terms of what’s going on inside their heads–their knowledge, motivations, habits, or feelings of confidence. Thanks to a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Jim and I have convened about 20 of our most admired psychologists, political scientists, sociologists, and communications scholars to discuss a different question: how changes in major institutions may be causing young people not to participate in democracy.

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