Examining sociopolitical attitudes : Black youths’ understanding and responses to social injustices

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sydney A. Revell (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Stephanie Irby Coard

Abstract: Black youth have been exposed to acts of racial violence and injustices throughout history, but there is also a history of social and political movements rooted in creating social change or in opposition to one. Previous research has discussed the development of youths’ political attitudes and identities (Stewart and Healy, 1986; 1989) where youths who have a political identity at a young age will lead them to become more politically engaged in adulthood. Sociopolitical development, as a process, changes from generation to generation, but current youths may not know or understand the implications of how past historical movements have impacted their own sociopolitical ideologies. Existing research on sociopolitical developmental and activism has focused largely on college students and emerging adults; but studying youths’ sociopolitical development is important in understanding how social injustices are impacting and showing up in the lives of Black youth. Framed by Sociopolitical Development Theory (SPD) and making use of focus group data, the current study is exploratory and will use a qualitative inductive analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) to explore how youth understand advocacy and social injustices. The current study is an extension of the Race Talk project, a mixed-methods study that was designed to give Black middle and high school youth a voice to share their experiences of racism and discrimination. SPD focuses on youths’ ability to recognize systems that are contributing to systemic inequities leading youth to activism through four components-- social analysis, opportunity structure, agency, and societal involvement (Watts and Flanagan, 2007; Watts et al., 2003). In addition, this study will examine how and in what ways youth are bringing awareness and acting to create social change for the issues they face. The findings are organized to reflect youths’ perspectives of social injustices and the ways they are addressing it: 1) Identification and Awareness of Injustice, 2) Experiences and Impact, 3) Teaching and Educating, 4) Emotional Reactions to Injustices, 5) Accountability, and 6) Types of Involvement.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
Activism, Black youth, Focus groups, Qualitative, Social injustice, Sociopolitical Development (SPD)
Children, Black $z United States $x Attitudes
Social justice $z United States
Activism $z United States

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