‘Loud and proud’: Youth and the politics of silencing’

R. Grimm, H Pilkington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers negative or critical views towards democracy and politics among young people, including supporters of ultra-patriotic or populist radical right movements, in the UK, eastern Germany and Russia. These countries represent a range of political heritages and current constitutions of democracy but, in all three contexts, it is suggested, young people experience some degree of the closing down of ‘legitimate’ political discourse as a result of the social distance between ‘politicians’ and ‘people like us’ and the legal and cultural circumscriptions on ‘acceptable’ issues for discussion. The article draws on survey data, semi-structured interviews and ethnographic case studies from the MYPLACE project to show variation between young people in these three countries in their experience of formal politics as a ‘politics of silencing’ and the relationship between perceived ‘silencing’, the expression of dissatisfaction with democracy and receptivity to populist radical right ideology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-230
Number of pages24
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015


  • Youth
  • political participation
  • democracy
  • populist radical right
  • Europe


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