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Citizens or subjects? : a study of the political culture of students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College.

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The youth are a group of particular importance in politics because they represent the future leaders and voters. To investigate the political culture of students at Howard College a representative sample of students was drawn, and a questionnaire administered. This questionnaire had two parts. The first part tested students' knowledge of the political system in South Africa and the second part measured their attitudes and feelings toward politics and government. The design of the questionnaire was influenced by the functionalist approach to the study of political systems used by Almond and Powell (1978). The questions asked were divided into three different categories to correspond to each level of the political system in the model, which consists of a system, process, and a policy level. It was found that students at Howard College were under-informed but not uninformed about the South African political system, despite failing the test that was administered. In was found that students had a generally negative attitude toward the people in charge of government, were apathetic toward voting and had low levels of trust in public officials. The findings of the research were that the youth need some kind of civic education to prepare them for their future role as citizens. And that more needs to be done to bring the youth into the fold to gain their support.


M.A. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2014.


University of KwaZulu-Natal -- Politics and government., Comparative government., Students -- Political aspects -- South Africa -- KwaZulu-Natal., Political culture -- South Africa -- KwaZulu-Natal -- Students., Theses -- Political science.