Friday, January 2, 2009

Even in Japan?

I've pointed to and blogged about what people know in the U.S., in the U.K., in various countries of Europe. Even Africa. So add Japan to the list. Like many, this brief piece is about the political knowledge of young people, a consistent concern no matter what country we look at.

As news consumption among the young suffers, so apparently does their political knowledge, or at least our perception of their political knowledge. As I've discussed many times before, sometimes this is right on target, sometimes it has more to do with the kinds of questions we ask rather than the answers they give. In truth this also explains, in part, the consistent finding that females know less about politics than males -- ask questions in which respondents are asked to identify female politicians and women do very well, thank you. I suspect if we construct political knowledge indices having to do with the public affairs issues that matter to younger adults then we may see a very different result. Certainly young people did better than ever before on quizzes about the recent U.S. election, an Obama effect.

It's another year, and the story remains the same. I'll try for something fresh in a couple of days, once I recover from overeating and over drinking and overspending.

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