Culturele deprivatie en politieke aliënatie: een tussentijds rapport

Res Publica 38 (3-4):631-656 (1996)
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Following the distinctions proposed by Gamson and Easton the complex phenomenon of political alienation among the young was empirically subdivided in several dimensions. Within the 'input'dimension of political alienation we distinguished between the ability to process information and the ability to participate. Within the 'output'dimension we distinguished between two referents of distrust, political actors and authorities on the one hand, and the political system on the other. We succeeded in constructing reliable scales for each of these dimensions which were then used as dependent variables in regression models. When turning to the explanation of the phenomenon our attention was focused first and foremost on the cultural factors. This was amply rewarded. Some of the normative aspects of culture, namely 'presenteism' and 'dionysianism', have a significant influence on various dimensions of political alienation. The impact of cognitive aspects appears to be even more significant. This means that an effective policy to counter the rise of political alienation wilt have to cope with a phenomenon solidly embedded in contemporary culture.



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