Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2017

Department 1

Political Science


The field of political science has become increasingly interested in the electoral participatory habits of young people in recent decades, and in post-apartheid South Africa more specifically in light of the recent and ongoing #feesmustfall movement within the nation's tertiary institutions. Since 1994, South Africa has made a great deal of progress towards dismantling the apartheid system; however, vast inequalities remain and many, mostly black African communities have not yet reaped the rewards of a democratic South Africa. Using qualitative data gathered from three focus groups, this paper examines why youth from black African township communities of Durban, South Africa view electoral participation more negatively and with greater skepticism than youth living in historically white communities. Two independent variables gleaned from the literature are used to explain these different perspectives: the quality of one's civic education and persisting racial socioeconomic inequality.


Written as a Political Science Senior Thesis in Comparative Politics.