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Teen SpiritHow Adolescence Transformed the Adult World$
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Paul Howe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749827

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749827.001.0001

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Governing Together

Governing Together

Politicians, Citizens, and Democracy

(p.110) 6 Governing Together
Teen Spirit

Paul Howe

Cornell University Press

This chapter contends that if we face challenges nowadays working together as a society of reasoning adults, the problem is nowhere more apparent than in the political arena. Politics matters — or should matter — a great deal. Elected officials make weighty decisions on a regular basis: how much tax to collect, where to spend public funds, what areas of our lives to regulate and control, all the while debating and determining the appropriate balance to be struck between overarching values such as freedom, equality, and security. One way or another, these decisions affect each and every one of us, making politics one of the few areas of modern life that can truly be considered a common societal undertaking. In theory, we should all be attuned to what is happening in the world of politics and seek to contribute to the process where we can. Yet there are numerous problems with how the system works in practice and a strong sense of detachment felt by many. The adolescent character of both politicians and citizens, the chapter argues, is largely to blame.

Keywords:   adults, politics, elected officials, freedom, equality, security, modern life, politicians, citizens, adolescent characteristics

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