There is a widespread concern about young people's disengagement from politics, and a widespread assumption that part of the explanation for this disengagement is mass media in general and popular culture in particular. This book challenges both assumptions. Drawing on research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, it provides the first detailed study of how young people in Britain use popular culture to shape and express their political views and values.
From entertainment to citizenship reveals how the young use shows like X-factor to comment on how power ought to be used, and how they respond to those pop stars - like Bono and Bob Geldof - who claim to represent them. It explores how young people connect the pleasures of popular culture to the world at large. For them, popular culture is not simply a matter of escapism and entertainment, but of engagement too.
The place of popular culture in politics, and its contribution to democratic life, has too often been misrepresented or misunderstood. This book provides the evidence and analysis that will help correct this misperception. It documents the voices of young people as they talk about popular culture, and as they reveal their thoughts about the world they inhabit. It will be of interest to those who study media and culture, and those who study politics.