Chapter 20: Political context and Russian youth: the political socialization of young activists under authoritarianism
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This chapter examines the political socialization of adolescent activists in Russia born between 2000 and 2006 and participating in the anti-regime politics between 2017 and 2020. Ultimately, the chapter answers the question of how exactly these young people became interested in anti-regime politics in a society where “politics” is regarded as an adult business and oppositional politics additionally is seen as “senseless” and risky. The chapter is based on the analysis of 37 in-depth biographical interviews conducted with adolescent protesters. Theoretically, it is grounded in the insights of the political socialization paradigm, but it attempts to overcome some of its shortcomings. It argues that the political socialization of the adolescents in Russia was shaped by a rapidly politicizing context of their growing-up process, and only through the politicization of this context other socialization agents - such as new media, peers, school, etc. - acquired their own politicizing roles.

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