Paul Keating is the Prime Minister, but who delivers the mail? A study of political knowledge amongst young people

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    Very little research in Australia has attempted to evaluate the level of political knowledge of young people. Explanations as to why young people have a low interest in, and little knowledge of, politics have been even rarer. Assessing the political knowledge of Australian young people provides a step toward understanding their responses to the political system. The present study examines the political knowledge of final year school students and makes comparisons to research into political knowledge conducted previously in Britain. The results are examined within two terms of reference: firstly, factors that include interest in politics, media usage and interest in participating in politics; and secondly, demographic factors such as gender, non‐English speaking background/ English speaking background (NESB/ESB), and parents’ occupation. All, except parents’ occupation, were found to influence young people's level of political knowledge. An interaction was found between interest in politics and gender as determinants of political knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)74-90
    JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1995

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