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Pop Culture Endorsements and Young Voter Participation: an Analysis
Like a bizarre game of musical chairs, both Democrats and Republicans are scrambling to capture the votes of America's young adults. Comprising more than 17 percent of the entire U.S. electorate, 18- to 24-year-olds have become a commodity to political strategists regardless of their elephant or donkey persuasion. However, of the limited non-partisan groups striving to motivate young voters, few could adequately compete with MTV's Rock the Vote, created by recording artists in 1990.
Studies conclude that motivating young voters is dependent upon a variety of factors. Tindell and Medhurst (1998) identified four factors most likely to affect the vote/no vote decision for young voters - a sense of duty, perceived personal benefits from the election's outcome, personal concern over the election's outcome and a group's perceived effect on the election's outcome. Their study concluded that Rock the Vote met each of these four criteria and were able to turn out more than 17 million young adults in the 1992 general election.
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