Home > Uncategorized > Blog 11: “Being a democratic citizen” through generations

Blog 11: “Being a democratic citizen” through generations

I think that those three generations (ours, our parents’ one and our grandparents’ one) are totally different because of two major factors (closely related to each other):

  • what “being a democratic citizen” represent(s/ed)
  • the expectation towards politics

I feel like for our grandparents, the right to vote was much more precious, since the universal suffrage was more recent and was even still excluding some communities or categories of the population (Women acquired it throughout the twentieth century all around the world and in 1920 in the United States, African-Americans until the Civil Right Act of 1964).

For that reason, I assume that the expectations were simply the maintain of democracy. I especially think that the Second World War played an important role: first because it made people being aware of the impact of totalitarian regime and the need to have a democratic and weel-fonctionning state and secondly because Wars usually strengthen the citizenship pride

My parents were twenty in the 1970’s. It was just after the 1968 movement wich was an important moment of political involvement (not by voting but rather by “protesting absention”, demonstrations and strikes). I would not say that political involvement was a trend at that time but it seems to me that it was higly popular and common.

In my mind, they were particularly expecting measure to improve and promote equality and social rights. Considering the communication aspect, it was the beginning of the higly broadcasted  political campaigns so politcal information become very accessible.

Nowadays, I have the impression that, since most of the people living in democratic society did not have to fight to have the right to vote, it is much more neglected. But with the emergence of Internet and online social networks it has become much easier to get political information and, most of all, to share one’s political views. This is a new way to “be a democratic citizen”.

Nevertheless, some scholars such as Vivien Hart has demonstrated that there is a global and massiv distrust towards politics that can most of the time be an obstacle to the exercise of citizenship (abstention, disinterest for politics).

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