Are immigrant youth involved in voluntary organizations more likely than their non-immigrant peers to be engaged in politics? Survey evidence from Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionActa Sociologica. 2020, 63 (3), 267-283. 10.1177/0001699319890649
The aim of this paper is to examine the link between associational involvement and political participation among youth in Norway and how this link varies between boys and girls of an immigrant or non-immigrant background. We examine the relationship between activities in instrumental and expressive types of voluntary organizations. The paper draws on the survey Ung i Oslo 2015 (Young in Oslo 2015), which was carried out among students in almost all high schools (30 schools) in Oslo, Norway. The results indicate that those who are actively involved in socially oriented organizations are most likely to participate in politics. However, the relationship between organizational activity and political participation is often stronger among youth of immigrant background and is visible even among those who are active in less socially oriented organizations. Most notably, the results suggest that being active in a sports organization is positively related to political participation among immigrant youth. We found no such effect among non-immigrant youth. In accordance with Robert Putnam’s theoretical framework on social capital, the paper discusses why youth of immigrant background seem to benefit more, politically speaking, from associational involvement.