McDevitt, Michael

Year: 
2015

University of Colorado Boulder

Professor McDevitt is visiting the Center winter and spring quarters, 2015.

Professor Michael McDevitt teaches in the newly created College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. He conducts research in political socialization and journalism studies. He is the principal investigator for “Colors of Socialization,” a project that explores the roles of media, schools, and families in the cultivation of ideological identity among adolescents in red and blue states. In media sociology, Prof. McDevitt is working on a book: Where Ideas Go to Die: Anti-Intellectualism in American Journalism. He holds a BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in communication from Stanford.

As a visiting scholar in the Center on Adolescence, he will explicate a model of school-family exchange in the development of civic and political identity. In this framework, the distinct function of schools is the nurturance of identity exploration. Ideally teachers would orchestrate respectful but spirited discussions that allow youth to appreciate the diversity of views among peers. The distinct function of families is identity validation; for many youth a nascent ideological identity aroused in peer discussion ultimately must pass through the portal of political conversation at home. Finally, the function of school-family exchange can be understood as identity consolidation, as youth are provided opportunities to compare, contrast, and integrate the views of parents and siblings with those circulating among teachers, peers, and media.

This paper explores the contributions of youth to active political parenting.
Active Political Parenting: Youth Contributions During Election Campaigns