The Puzzle of High Partisanship Among Ethnic Minority Young People in Great Britain
19 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 23, 2018
Previous studies have found that ethnic minorities in the Britain have similar levels of partisan attachment as white respondents. However, we find that this hides substantial ethnic differences in levels of partisanship within age groups (minorities are younger on average) and that there is a substantial minority party attachment premium after accounting for age that is widest for the youngest respondents. Our paper therefore examines the factors that account for the substantial partisanship gap between minority and white respondents by the time they enter the electorate. To examine this question, we make use of waves 3, 5 and 7 of the Understanding Society youth panel, which follows 10-15 year olds in the UK from 2011 to 2016.We model both the early attainment of party attachment among respondents (the first time we observe them as part of the youth panel) and the subsequent retention of this party attachment up to age 15, or acquisition of party attachment among young people who had not attained partisanship at the time of first observation. We find that parental partisanship and political engagement are the key factors differentiating minority and white acquisition and retention of party attachment during this critical period of political development.
Keywords: ethnicity, party identity, partisanship, socialisation, immigration
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