The Missing Generation: Youth Political Participation in the United States following the 2000 Election and September 11, 2001



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The events of the 2000 United States Presidential Election and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 occurred as a particular group of young people reached voting age. In this thesis, I use a combination of quantitative and qualitative data to examine whether these events could be said to have created a generation effect that substantially affects the political identity and behavior of young people ages 18-25. I find that while these events were significant influences on young people s perception of and interest in policy and United States politics, there is little evidence to suggest that this is more than a typical age effect accompanying the transition out of adolescence.