The Moral Emotions of Youthful Politics and Anti-Politics

Montero, K and Bessant, J 2019, 'The Moral Emotions of Youthful Politics and Anti-Politics' in Peter Kelly, Perri Campbell, Lyn Harrison and Chris Hickey (ed.) Young People and the Politics of Outrage and Hope, Koninklijke Brill NV, Netherlands, pp. 209-225.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title The Moral Emotions of Youthful Politics and Anti-Politics
Author(s) Montero, K
Bessant, J
Year 2019
Title of book Young People and the Politics of Outrage and Hope
Publisher Koninklijke Brill NV
Place of publication Netherlands
Editor(s) Peter Kelly, Perri Campbell, Lyn Harrison and Chris Hickey
Start page 209
End page 225
Subjects Social Change
Social Theory
Summary The problematic this chapter addresses is that mainstream political and social science and common sense understandings of politics privilege electoral politics. As critics point out, mainstream understandings of politics relies on empirical and positivist research methods that encourage the assumption that participants are autonomous, self-interested 'individuals' who act in rational ways to maximize their utility. It is a tradition that articulates conventional rules of engagement, values and consensus over dissensus and privileges rational deliberation (Habermas 1984, 1996; Bohmann 1996). This gives credence to a formalistic approach to political discourse and practice that understands 'behaviour' as rational action. Any human action that fails to fit this classification or the general ethos outlined by this approach is excluded from the category of political (Wenman 2013). It is a conceptualization of politics that is limiting because it excludes a full range of motives and actions that are deeply political (Bessant 2017: 204-221). Our position: We argue against the conventional and popular view that a 'crisis of democracy' can be explained by young people's political disengagement . It is a problematic claim because it relies on a view of politics that fails to recognize the changes taking place within the field of politics courtesy of new media and specifically the political actions of many young people. We draw on our recent research to demonstrate that young people are not disinterested in politics. In doing so we add to a growing body of literature that makes the same argument. We also join others to argue that politics has never been shaped by norms of rationality or public opinion formed by rational debate oriented to consensus as set out in the Habermasian notion of the bourgeois public sphere (Kellner 1999; Manning and Holmes 2014; Bruter et al. 2016).
Copyright notice © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden
Keyword(s) moral emotions
politics
young people
ISBN 9789004337077
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Created: Thu, 21 Feb 2019, 12:10:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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