Young people have been characterised as apathetic and disengaged from mainstream politics. This discourse draws upon a narrow, regulatory and hegemonic model of politics that centres on parliamentary politics. This paper reports findings from a qualitative study of young people drawn from across the political spectrum that also found most participants to adhere to this dominant model of politics. However, this conceptualisation of politics did not match their forms of socio-political engagement, instead it generated a series of tensions and worked to discount their actions as not 'genuine' or 'real' politics. It is argued that this narrow, regulatory model of politics does not reflect contemporary social conditions and actually militates against young people understanding themselves as political actors and beings.
- Young people