The Democratic Attitudes of Students and Their Political Participation

Master's Thesis, 2015

132 Pages, Grade: A



1.1 Statement of Problem
1.2 Object of Study
1.3 Sociological significant of study

2.1 Student politics in Pakistan (A Historical Back ground)
2.2 Student Politics in Developed and Developing countries
2.3 Family influence on Student politics
2.4 Student Leftist Political Wing
2.5 Political Socialization of Students
2.6 Democratic Attitude of Students
2.7 Assumption

3.1 The Minimax Strategy
Figure 3.2
3.3 Application of Theory
3.4 The Power Elite Theory
3.5 Application of Theory
3.6 The Deferential Association Theory
3.7 Application of theory
3.8 Preposition
3.9 Hypothesis
3.9.1 Democratic Attitude
3.9.2 Political Participate

4.1 Conceptualization
4.1.1 Democratic
4.1.2 Attitudes
4.1.3. Student
4.1.4 Religious
4.1.5 Orientation
4.1.6 Political
4.1.6 Interest
4.2 Operationalization
4.2.1 Democratic Attitude
4.2.2 Student
4.2.3 Religious Orientation
4.2.4 Political Interest

chapter No. 5 METHODLOGY
5.1 Research design
5.2 Universe of the Study
5.3 Unit of Analysis
5.4 Targeted population
5.5 Sampling techniques
5.6 Sample size
5.7 Tool for data collection
5.8 Techniques for data collection
5.9 Pre-Testing
5.10 Data analysis
5.11 Screening and transformation of data
5.12 Reliability and validity in research
5.13 Opportunities and limitation of study
5.14 Ethical concern

chapter No.6 RESULTS
6.1 Descriptive Analysis,
6.2 Inferential Statistics
6.3 Hypothesis Testing

7.1 Discussion
7.1.1 Figure No 2


chapter No. 8 REFERENCE



List of Table

Table No.6.1.1 Gender of the respondents

Table No. 6.1.2 Age of the respondents

Table No. 6.1.3 Previous education of respondents

Table No. 6.1.4 Present education program of respondents

Table No. 6.1.5 Faculty of respondents

Table No. 6.1.6 Education progress of respondents

Table No. 6.1.7 Province of respondents

Table No. 6.1.8 Area of respondents

Table No. 6.1.9 Occupation of head of the family

Table No. 6.1.10 Total monthly income of family of respondents

Table No. 6.1.11 Existence of student politics in Quaid-i-Azam University

Table No. 6.1.12 Types of students’ politics that favors nation politics

Table No. 6.1.13 Register voter

Table No. 6.1.14 Respondents opinion regarding vote for change every five year

Table No. 6.1.15 Respondents opinion on discussion among students held on political issue

Table No. 6.1.16 Students’ participation in political events

Table No. 6.1.17 Respondents’ perception towards importance of political participation for Students

Table No. 6.1.18 Opinions of Respondents about students’ political participation in politics

Table No. 6.1.19 Respondents’ perception on importance of students politics for Students education

Table No. 6.1.20 Reason of students participation in politics in educational institution

Table No. 6.1.21 Respondents views on political ideology of Parties that are functional for Pakistan

Table No. 6.1.22 Respondents perception towards the political affiliation of students’ and their educational performance

Table No. 6.1.23 Respondents perception toward ban on politics with in education institution

Table No. 6.1.24 Lack of political knowledge & performance of better role for country’s developments

Table No. 6.1.25 Respondents perception toward military role in politics ... 74 Table No. 6.1.26 Respondent perception toward corrupt political parties in Pakistan

Table No. 6.1.27 Future participation of respondents in political parties

Table No. 6.1.28 respondent perception toward the military work

Table No. 6.1.29 Respondents perception toward responsible for backwardness of Pakistan

Table No. 6.1.30 Respondents perception toward Pakistan’s democratic system

Table No. 6.1.31 Superiority of islamic way of life than the other ways of life

Table No. 6.1.32 Preference of sharia laws on democracy

Table No. 6.1.33 Respondents’ favorite political system

Table No. 6.1.34 Respondent opinion about equal participation of male & female in politics

Table No. 6.1.36 Chance for none- Muslim to be prime minister of Pakistan

Table No. 6.1.37 Respondent views about the participation of poor people in politics

Table No. 6.1.38 Perception of respondents toward military of Pakistan

Table No. 6.1.39 Perception of respondents about right to ban anything

Table No. 6.1.40 Preference of dictatorship or democracy

Table No. 6.1.41 Perception of respondents toward right to protest

Table No. 6.1.42 Respondents opinion about declaration of Ahmadis as non- Muslim

Table No. 6.1.43 National identity of the respondents

Table No. 6.1.44 Perception of respondents toward right to fight

Table No. 6.1.45 Perception of respondents about banning the madrassa education

Table No. 6.1.46 Involvement of foreign hands for terrorism in Pakistan

Table No. 6.2.1 The Area vise; Respondents’ participation in politics

Table No. 6.2.2 The Area vise; Respondents’ participation in politics

Table No. 6.2.3 Democratic Attitude of Male and Female

Table No. 6.2.4 Political Ideology of students

Table No.6.3.1 Political Participation

Table No. 6.3.2 Chi-Square Tests

Table No. 6.3.3 Symmetric Measures

Table No.6.3.4 Hypothesis#2: Democratic Attitude

Table No.6.3.5 Chi-Square Tests

Table No.6.3.6 Symmetric Measures

List of Figure

Figure 3.2

Figure No 7.1.1


Dr. Sadia Saeed has been ideal thesis supervisor. Her sage advice, insightful criticisms, and patient encouragement aided the writing of this thesis in innumerable ways. I would also like to thank Makhtoom Ahmed whose steadfast support of this thesis was greatly needed and deeply appreciated. Finally I would like thanks and express my appreciation to Mir Mohammad wassan family and my brother Mohammad Saleem, for support and prayers and kind wishes for the completing of this thesis research study.

Sikander Ali


This research aimed to find out the democratic attitudes of students and their participation in politics at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. The study focused on the students ’ perceptions towards the country ’ s political issues, the democratic attitudes and the impact of religious orientations on democratic attitudes of young students. The researcher used survey method in which questionnaires were distributed among the sample. The sample size was 225 which included the respondents from all the provinces and regions of Pakistan. The researcher used SPSS as the tool for data analysis and Chi-square and Phi-coefficient tests were applied to check the relations among the variables. The major findings show that young students do not have democratic attitudes. In the sample, 81 of the respondents agreed and 78 strongly agreed that Sharia law provide more justice than democratic laws. 58 respondents agreed and 52 strongly agreed that non - Muslims should not be allowed to be elected as Prime Minister. 40.9% of the responded agreed and 24.9% responded to some extent that military ’ s involvement and engagement in the political affairs is justifiable. The study further shows that out of 225 respondents 88 of them participate and 129 do not participate in any political events of the country. The overall result show that young students neither have democratic attitudes nor participate in to political activities.


Politics is the involvement of more than one party or group into actions ranging from civic engagement to participation in mainstream politics. The same argument also supports the students’ politics where groups of student engage for the attainment, preservation and protection of their rights, and meet the common goals commonly referred as student unity. (Alam et al. 2011). Student politics is the political involvement of students within campuses or during their educational period. The politics of students can be to raise their voices, address their issues, and engage in nation building process to promote the agenda of a particular ideology. The purpose of student political organizations is to represent the students and their issues at local and national level. However, the students who join political parties or students unions have background political attachment and inclination towards politics. This kind of background attachment is because of their parents, social curriculum and peers groups (Westby and Braungart 1966).

Student unions differ from student unity groups. Student unions are a forum, a club, or any other organization that have regional, religious or communal interests. These unions are often engaged into competition and conflict among each other solely for maximize their interests. It is indeed quite surprising that the mainstream political parties create their student wings to raise and promote their political agendas in the campuses. These wings are blamed for their outlandish activities and creating unpalatable academic environments. Students unions also affiance in various academic based activities. These unions are registered and they often have meetings with the university administration to discuss the issues of students. They are much prone to solving the accommodation issues of newcomers as well as guide and help them out regarding the education possibly. It is surprising that the students who happen to be less brilliant in studies join students unions for the sake of passing the admission and examination tests because these unions also find illegitimate means to carry on their academic works. In addition, teachers and professors for some part are alleged to be part of student unions and wings as well; they, as a result, push many of the students in political organizations. Corruption during the cycle of student life is quiet acute, these wings and unions are accused of being involved in many ill-gotten and malaise activities such as illegitimately distributing the hostels, boycotting the papers, harassing the faculty members and illicitly changing of text books are common facts in the sights. Equally important, these students in future become the politicians and continue the same unfair business of corruption (Alam et al. 2011).

Student participation in politics is an encouraging phenomenon in global world. Students involved in politics one way or another to get engaged themselves under different platforms for various socio-political ends. Student unions are common parts of such politics. Considering these unions quite salient, the University administrations charge a certain meagre of fees so that this money should be spent usefully on different activities under the University responsibility. Throughout the history, students were not violence prone, and had zero or little level of violence in many universities of Canada. Although each campus of universities has its own union, they allow the students to perform collective voices and save their freedom.

Most of students in Canada do peaceful protest for tuition costs and student rights. Student Unions Prepare the Students to enhance their capability to become productive politicians in future (PILDAT 2008).

Student politics is considered problematic among different nations in past. They are often blamed for demonstration, unrest, protest, revolt, toppling the regimes and other violent tended behaviors in the educational campuses (Altbach 1989). Though students activism being the notable thing throughout history, played important role in different social movements like movement of freedom, Civil right, and feminist movement etc. Moreover, student politics sometimes is perceived negatively, but there are several evidences in world that the student politics has been significant agents of social and political change among many nations. For instance, in 1955 students activism played a significant role to breakdown Peron grasp in Argentina. However, it had an important role in Hungarian revolution in 1956. In 1963 students became the stumbling block for Deism in Vietnam, the anti- Sukaro movement in Indonesia, the Pargue spring in 1968 and students were also engaged in recreation in past to overthrow the dictatorship during the Ayub Khan and Zia regime in Pakistan (Glaeser, Ponzetto and Shleifer 2007).

It is illogical to illustrate that student activism only supports the democratic system. The historical revelations pin point that there are several evidences that indicate the negative attitude of students toward democracy e.g. Mussolini got support of students in young Fascist movement Che-Guevara held the supports of students for the communist guerilla movement in Latin America Nazi Students supported Hitler (Glaeser, Ponzetto and Shleifer 2007). Therefore, it is unjustifiable to presume that students support a particular ideology. They would only participate for collective action whether democratic or anti-democratic.

Student activism has long been a crucial factor in the politics of most developing countries. However, it is a key issue in the world especially in third world countries (Altbach 1984). Students’ political interests and their participation vary in terms of developing and developed nations.

During the colonial period, students from Asia and Africa played vigorous role for promoting national sentiments and several social movements held by student that brought massive changes in developing world e.g. Latin America, India, China, Indonesia Bangladesh, Egypt and many more(Altbach,1989). Students from developing world more likely have Marxist and leftist approaches than from the developed world. A sociological perspective indicates that ideological motive play important role in student activism in particular among the developing world. Many of the students do not possess democratic attitude and they do leftist politics in the campuses and universities (Altbach 1989).

The educational institutions of developing countries differ from the developed nation. Similarly, in developing countries, student politics much differ from the developed nations. There are several reasons behind it. In developing countries, higher educational institutions are situated in metropolis and federal areas where students have more opportunities to participate in politics. “Typically, however, student activism is motivated by political and social forces in society and its attention is generally focused away from the campus” (Altbach 1984).Student organizations in developing countries are exploited by the outer politics for their own benefits. Socio-economic conditions of campuses also give birth to student politics in the developing countries, lack of facilities, scholarship, hostel problem and administration failure are common examples.

In many developing countries, strong and powerful authorities deal with student unions ruthlessly. Leaders of student organizations are rusticated, jailed and taken into behind the bars by administration (Jinnah Institute 2013). In developing countries due to the weak socialization patterns, students grow up in with less developmental attributes. Developing nations have more influence of student politics on national policies than developed nations.

Developing countries follow the collectivist cultural paradigm. People in these countries, have strong intimacy and extended family relations in which members of family adopt political, social and religious values in society (Leonanrd 2006). Family is the basic institution of society in which its members are voluntary attached to it. Specially, in developing countries students are member of family at large rather than member of society. Students adopt the political values, norms, and attitude of the family. It is a fact that students possess similar political behaviors and ideologies as their parents have, and students’ activism is greatly affected by family politics, social class and religion. Students from lower class family are more inclined to join the left wing groups; on the other hand, students from upper class join right wing political groups (Braungart 1971).

Religion is a major institution in the society that greatly influences the individual’s life. Students in universities are notably engaged political ideologies other than religious (Altbach 1966). The developing countries are trapped into religious ideologies and traditional custom. However, Islam has less influence on the political attitude of student in Middle Eastern countries. The students, who are more religious in nature, have less democratic approaches (Tessler 2002). Asian countries are very famous as per student politics is concerned. Student politics provide a sense of unity and security to students in campuses. However, they are also responsible, for providing social services. Most of these organizations are religious and political wings. Pakistan got independence based on religious ideologies. “it has a long history of student politics and students have played a major role in shaping the directions taken by the state and the government of Pakistan” ( Jinnah Institute 2013).

Student politics in Pakistan has a long history. Some student organizations existed before the partition of Pakistan such as Muslim Students Federation (MSF), and some were formed after independence of country. Democratic Student Federation (DSF) in 1948 formed initially in Lahore and then it extended into whole the country. Jamit-e-Talaba was established after independence. Organization such as DSF became in later years All Pakistan Student Organization and operated at national level (APSO). Meanwhile, Girls student Federation also emerged. (Jinnah Institute 2013).

The ban on student union was held under Martial Law Order No. 227 and 1371 in 1984 during Zia regime. On other hand, fear was instilled in Zia’s perception that these students might topple his regime as they did with General Ayub Khan’s Government, this ban continued till 2008 (PILDAT 2008).

Pakistan has majority of it youth population consisting of 62% in which its 36 million are between age group of 20-24 (Yusuf, 2008 & 2012: 2). It is quite popular to state that youths had played key roles in any socio-economic and cultural changes in the history of world. Youths have liberated their motherlands, ended up the tyrannical regimes, and led their nations to right path.

Nearly 70% of youth politics are engaged in violence (Marri et al. 2006). Pakistani society with its multicultural features has different types of students’ politics. Some of them are ethnic, cultural, and regional and others are religious. Student organizations such as Islami Jamit-e-Talaba, which is promoting religious ideologies and People’s Students federation (PSF) which is promoting “Bhutoism “as an ideology. In addition, National Students federations follow the lefts and sees Pakistan as a secular state. Some ethnic and regional originations are Pakhtum Students federation (PKSF), The Baloch Student Organization, Panjabi, Jiya Sindh Students Federation (JSSF ) and (APMSO) All Pakistan Mohajir Student Organization and others (PILDAT2008).

1.1 Statement of problem

This research aimed to find out the democratic attitudes of students and their participation in politics. This research also aimed to find out their political interests, perceptions, and participation towards national politics. The researcher was keenly interested to find out the key sociological questions that what how religiously students are oriented and whether religiosity has impacts on democratic attitudes or not or what political ideologies do they have and what is the impact of family to adopt certain type of ideologies?

1.2 Object of study

1. To highlight the different factors influencing democratic attitude of student at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad
2. To identify the relationship between the council and nation politics in Quai- i-Azam University Islamabad
3. To find out the participation level of students in politics.
4. To find out ideologies and political interest of students in national politics

1.3 Sociological significant of study

Pakistan is the second largest country consisting majority of its youth/students population after Yemen, which is 60%. Despite being in major run, Pakistan youths/students feel a sense of frustration, deprivation and seem that they have no qualm about the country’s problem. They lack interest in the national politics, have no faiths towards their leaders, and they are not actively involved in country’s affairs such as vote casting, running a campaign or raising their voice for change.

It important to note that many young students of the country have knowledge about the political affairs, they are aware of what is going on in the country but the problem they lack is a sense of unity, oneness, and belonging. They believe to be Pakistani, but in real fact, they have sentiments that are more ethnic.

Pakistani young students are actively engaged in fruitless activities such as excessive use of social networks crickets, fashion, and other malaise and deviance. They are more intended toward radicalization and violence prone approaches and less likely to find in welfare activities, education, and literacy society and leadership development.

More importantly, those who are engaged in politics as students wings are involve in violence and creating disturbance in the educational institutional. These students join these wings for power, status, and money, not to seek change. These student wings, backed by the major political parties, are to counter the opposite parties. Therefore, violence and disturbance seem much, prevailing instead of leadership training and creating real leaders. Thus, Pakistani youth is busy at mudslinging each-others backed and in other ethno-linguistic conflicts.

The purpose of this study is to study these all-overlapping situations governing and shaping of political ideologies, attitudes, and participation of young students in National politics.


The review of literature provides great amount of relevant material to justify any topic and to make the collective data valid. It gives the researcher and the reader a view to had better understand the topic. This also helps researcher to substantial his studies with ideas presented by different researchers related to his topic and through this the researcher analysis the various aspect of the community.

2.1 Student politics in Pakistan (A historical back ground)

Hussain (2012) stated that a pressure group is any group, which moves towards the achievement of common interest, but they differ from the student wing or any other political party. The history of student politics in Pakistan has a long history, which includes the pre and post- independence era. The pre-independence politics went into two phases, the first one is linked with the initial phase of war of independence (1857) till the formation of congress ministries (1939) and the second phase initiated with the formation of different universities and college such as Aligarh and Nadwathullah having great impacts in shaping up the political attitudes of Muslim students. According to Afzal (1980), that Quaid-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his speech pointed out that “You the students are the nation builders of tomorrow and you must fully equip yourself with discipline, education and training for the arduous task lying ahead tomorrow. You should realize the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it.”

The post independent era of student politics starts after 1947 when the problems of migration and others eased, the broader political parties formed their political wings having different agendas and ideologies. Among them, the Communist Party formed Democratic Student Federation (DSF), Jamiat Islami had Islami Jamait Tulaba and National Awami Party established National Student Federation (NSF).

According to Ahmed (2014) media leaves an enormous impacts on over mind in shaping of the process of decision-making and creating a perception about the world. Political efficacy is something, which means people’s perceptions and beliefs in their selves to have influence to a political system. Pakistani youths have political efficacy, they interested and aware of political scenarios of the country due to their more exposure in media. Nevertheless, the argument is youths have low level of trust in the political system.

Yousuf, (2008: 2) states that Pakistan has one of the largest youth population in the world comprising 60% and the fertility rate is 3.8, which seems alarming for the future of the country. Pakistani youths are the agents of radicalization because of educational failure. Three types of educational system exist in the country, mainly public, private and madrassa sectors, all of them differ from one another with respect to their text, method and mediums of education. Majority of youths study in public sector institutions whose texts and the educational environment create radicalization in the perception of youths. Two factors are also common in the intoxication of radical perceptions, the push, such as poverty, unemployment and deprivation of youths and pull factors, which include religious ideology and the sympathy for these militant groups.

Iqbal (2012) revealed that Pakistani youths keep interests in the politics as they expressed their concern in the survey. They, talking, discussing, and listening about the political environment of the country with its related issues with one another, is quite an interesting pattern. The argument seems untrue that youths in Pakistan lack political consciousness, they are of the confident that they are peace-oriented, and their votes can bring reformative changes in the country. More importantly, majority of respondents expressed deep concern about the importance of vote that every citizen is obliged to cast their votes. However, the irritating perception they expressed that they are dissatisfied about some government policies, uncertain about future politics and there is a trust deficit between them and their politicians. As a result, many youths are losing their interests in political cadre.

Aurang Zeb (2008) revealed that Pakistani youths are of great resource to take out the country out of this horrid situation which is facing currently. The myriad of youths become viable in economic, social, cultural and ideological changes if they are organized with caution. However, until this is done well, there are chances of their indulgence in torpor, violence and tendencies towards radicalization. Pakistan has been engaged in struggle for the establishment of democracy since its inception but the military doctrine has never led it happen of the maturity of democracy.

Pakistan with its ilk neighbor India have been struggling in arms race until now, failing to pay heeds towards strengthening the democracy, raising awareness and empowering the youths. More in general context, youths participation in politics refers to youth involvement in development phase of a country, through implementation of policies, and engaging in various activities for the effective functioning of socio-political system.

Youths face several hurdles in being part of shaping of social fabrics. First, they lack financial support, which is reasonably resulting of poor fundraising abilities and low social network. Equally important, they are not welcomed in the policy making process, having little or no governmental support, and government carry out policies and program without consent of youths. Lack of education and training also kept them outside of participatory programs. Youth are badly hit by poverty and unemployment since hunger stalks in the country, for this, blame lies over the educational system, which is unable to produce well-equipped young activist. The education system for middle class with rigid and outdated curriculum, and incompetent teachers, have further pushed the youths towards radical drives. Producing active youth seems well-nigh infeasible until the education system is brought to the order.

Moreover, in rural setting unawareness of civic rights and traditional structure of tribalism, feudalism, and mullaism are the key facts as obstacles for youth participation. These structures oppose development, and try to keep their traditional values intact.

According to Siddiqa (2014:60) who conducted her study among the elite university students with well-off financial and political background, reveals that many of the respondents rejected the notion to be part of any political party. They responded were optimistic about Imran khan to be future leader as change agent. Considering the regional politics that 69% of the respondents viewed India as biggest enemy of Pakistan. This notion of perception shows political conservatism among youths. On the other hand, youths also regarded two nation theories alive in spite of its failure in the separation of Bangladesh. The political conservatism of youths is due to the historical education. During 1947, religion was deeply intoxicated in the social fabrics; the step of forming the constitution started with ‘Objective Resolution of 1949’, anti-Ahmadi riots during 1950s, and 1956, 1962, and 1973 constitutions were attempt to promote stand the pillar of society of the basis of religion. A latent radicalism is found among the elite youths of Pakistan. Main factors behind conservatism, radicalism, and extremism are the historical background, media, and the poor quality of social science education in Pakistan.

According to Siddiqui (2015:4) that 67% of Pakistani youths are below 30 years and the average age group in the year 2010 was 21.6 years. For the more democratic and prosperous future, this age group is need to be understood. The rising of youths in PTI politics is noteworthy. PTI is most popular among youths by the reason no party has taken and understood the demographic importance of youths except youths. Pakistani youths are growing political consciousness one variable of this could be post- 9-11 era.

According to British council (2009:19) “Pakistan will face demographic disaster if does not address the needs of its young generation, the largest country in history whose views reflect a deep disillusionment with the generation and policy”. Moreover, the economic growth is currently 2% which is challenge for the youth employment, 57% of country’s literacy rate and youth with low skills and educational trainings suffer greatly in job market.( youths strategy report)

2.2 Student politics in developed and developing countries

Henn et al. (2002) revealed that young people in England are disinterested towards politics. They perceive that politics is not for them and it does not mean to them. Besides this, young people choose to be sided from politics because the politicians do not provide them a solid reason to be interested in. political parties are responsible for youths’ detachment to the politics because of lack of encouragement and persuasion. In addition, youths have interest in politics but they have their own agendas. Education is the main issue in their concern, while militarism, animal rights, health, environment and solidarity with third world country are others in their perceptions. The respondents responded that they do not repose confidence in national and local parties because they are interested in their personal and party agendas and do address the needs of general public especially the youths.

Albatch, (1984) student’s politics of developed and underdeveloped world differ from the politics of developed world. From third world students participate in political unrest, they contribute in nation building and historically, they contributed much in freedom movement of these countries respectively in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The educational institutions of these countries are located in the metropolises in which students are exposed to different factors to be politically motivated. In developed countries, there is less influence of student’s politics into the national politics where as in the developing countries students’ politics influence the policymaking and other political process of national politics. The fact remains in third world countries that the political institutions are unstable, weak traditional, and involvement of elite students group which pressurize the government institutions. Students organizations are banned, pressurized and tried to vanish from the academics because of their constant involvement in violence.

Albatch (1966) state students emerge to be live a pleasure full life when they start the school. While joining the educational institution, many students happen to be part of many ideological and political activities. In this respect, student feel guilty of challenging their family and cultural values because they deal with many political and social ideologies. Students’ community is heterogeneous and large so it uneasy to place them in plate form because of various socio-political factors. In many ways students are forced and asked from the family and society to be conformists and concentrate well on their education. The students having social science background are political than the natural science background and some of them organized , supported and engaged in by university administration, and political parties to raise up their political and personal interests. However, unofficial organizations also exists in these universities which are less favored, small in number and more indulged into radical prone actions. Two types of student’s politics exist into the educational institutions. One is value oriented; the ones, which deal only the academic issues and have no influence of the outer politics, and the one is non-oriented organization, which has the influence of outer politics.

2.3 Family influence on student politics

Henn et al. (2005:566) state that young people in England conceive politics as something done by others, people join politics for their self-interests not to represent and address the needs of general public. It is just a selected group of people especially the elites, who join politics for the attainment of their personal needs. The young people argued that they have political interests, they do discuss about the political affairs with their friends and family members, gender wise, female show less interests in politics. Young people from upper and middle classes are more interested in politics than young from poor and working class. 82% of the respondents responded that they have no influence over political affairs and there is not any opportunity for them to influence country’s politics. Young have positive perception about political democratic process but they argued that political parties are ineffective in connecting with the young people and responding them in a positive way.

Braungart (1971) studied 1,246 students whose survey was based on the ideological foundations of students. He argued that family is the strongest factor behind student politics, and families’ socialization is critical in the socialization of youths and the formation of their political behaviors. It matters what ideologies the families have, if they in case of having religious ideologies, the children would be more prone to have religious sentiments, children more likely adopt such attitudes from family than the other social groups. Social class, religion and family background are directly linked with shaping of the political attitudes of young people. However, students with poor and minor ethnic groups have more chances to be drawn to the left wing politics.

2.4 Student leftist political wing

Braungart (1990) reveal that during 1960s student politics centered on left wing politics. However, the period of 80s changed the nature of politics of the world and students became supportive of liberal and right wing democracy. Leftist ideologies are learnt from family in general, by there is also evidence that studying social science, pressure in employment and failing in other social achievement motivate students to join left wing. The political groups of students give space to many students to participate and join the groups to utilize what they have learnt and develop other leadership opportunities.

Albatch, (1989) students politics is a complex phenomenon. Students historically have been engaged in various types of political activities. The students from Asia, and Africa played pivotal roles in the liberation movements of their countries. And these students as a matter of fact had leftist and Marxist approaches and ideological motivations were the key factors behind their political engagement. Students’ politics also exist beyond the educational campuses and their and failure and success depends upon the level of support they get from people, media, or any other mainstream political party. Students from third world countries are blamed for promoting violence, and radical ideologies.

Silverstein, and Wohl (1964) after second world war, students politics was legalized in which students began to interfere in national politics, adopted and promoted socialist ideologies which led them into dominances during 1946. Students’ politics also emerged in high and middle school level and had extreme left orientation. The survey findings illustrated that majority of the participants had their concerned to be part of future politics of the country, they also supported socialist ideology in which they sought to be future country’s dominant ideology.

2.5 Political socialization of students

Yigit, and colak (2011). Revealed that citizens of modern use information think critically and have a good democratic attitude. They learn democratic attitudes and civic education from their family and educational institutions. Students from educational family background have more democratic attitudes than the others with uneducated family background. Female are more democratic as compared to males. 9 students out of 10 argued that democracy creates an environment of will, freedom, equality.

Jacoby (2006) explains that some students are involved in many social service sectors in the service of communities and local people. They are engaged in such behavior without even knowing the true meaning of democracy. However, it is sheer negligence of government and other politicians for ignoring them and not encouraging them in democratic activities.

Glaser et al. (2007) explained that education and democracy are interrelated concepts. People participate in politics to raise of civic rights which are taught at the schools to the young students. There is a significant impact of educated people on politics than the uneducated, which is commonly in sights in the form of student activism. More importantly, students’ politics played heroic role during the middle- ages such as; Marther luther king got great support from students of Germany for the rights of blacks. In 1955 student activism played a significant role to dawn fall Peron in Argentina, and in 1956 students show great interest in Hungarian Revolution. Student politics becomes hurdle for Diem in Vietnam in 1963, and Anti- Sukaro movement in Indonesia. The Pargue spring in 1968 and the students’ politics also played important role to abrogate the rule of dictatorship in Pakistan during Ayub khan and Zia regimes. It is not right to say that student politics is always in the supportive of democratic values, because students also have negative behaviors towards democracy, as there are evidences throughout the history. It is noteworthy that students only support and participate into collective actions whether that could be democratic or non-democratic.

Acemoglu et al. (2005) argue that high education promote the democratic culture and create political prosperity. Education and democracy are both interlinked concepts. However, some research shows that there is no relation between these two concepts. There may not be any direct casual relations between these two but some factors influence these indirectly. They could be in the phase of economic growth, social and political development. These indirect relations have variations among and within the countries.

Weiser, and Hayes (1966) state that teachers are vague in having a particular ideology. Many of the teachers are supportive of authoritative regimes, and some respondents responded very unclear version of ideas regarding democracy in U.S. Restricting the public opinions and freedom of expression on media were such questions in which the respondents opined that they should be limited, and military activities should not brought to board. They also showed their concerned regarding the censorship of books, media and other literary materials by the police. Such notions of thoughts expose that they have weak support or unclear regarding democracy.

2.6 Democratic attitude of students

Galstin (2001) explain that civic education important in the political development process and for the construction of youth attitudes towards democracy. It is the political socialization of young people and it greatly influence the political knowledge and building the ideologies. Civic education give them the perception and orientation of citizenship, its importance and cause them less politically aliened.

Tessler (2002) explain Democracy and Islam both have less or no relations with each other’s in Middle Eastern societies. The students who more islmists, are less influenced and supportive of democracy. Women since are pan-Islamists, are less democratic than the males, it is also quite clear that religious orientations ignores the liberal concept of democracy. But, it depends on the nature of religion that what types of religion persists in the society.

Mohammadi (2007) in his study discusses the Iranian students and their role in the reformative movements in Iran. After the Islamic revolution of Iran students from the universities joined party politics in large scale. More importantly, the failure of reformative movement caused the students to participate in various notion of reformative activities participated into different civil societies, and worked for social and economic development. Student also emerged in two types of political groups mainly one engaged in civic activities while other became prone to violence, crime and disturbance. Many of Iranian students had the negative perceptions towards West due to the colonization of US and nationalism emerged among the Iranian students during the era of Islamic Revolution. From 1980 to 1990 students’ role in politics was crucial, they supported the politicians and raised campaign for elections. But the failure of reformative movement led the youth’s disappointed in the politics and they lost their trust and the result was that they wanted democratic governments, but the government was theocratic.

Rashid and Qijie (2012:187) studied the political attitude of rural youths in Bangladesh. The findings revealed that the respondents were between the age of 29 to 25 and 57.7% had secondary education and 59.5% of the respondents belonged to middle class families. Among them, 52.6% of the youths perceive themselves having medium leadership characters. 49.2% have moderate attitudes towards democracy and 22.4% have high moderate and low moderate attitude towards the government. The rural youths also have maximum political attitude and also believe on political consciousness of masses, importance of casting vote and leadership development are important the development of a nation. However, they complained about the- politicizing the poor and the leaders are involved in corruption. Youths’ involvement in national politics is less because they have poor participation in local politics that is pioneer for development of leadership. The true reason is the weakness of local government to create future leaders.

Ahmed and Sheikh (2013:358) argued that in his study that considerable proportion of students did not believe democracy as change. To them, democracy is the name of corrupt and power elites. In this study 22.6 percent responded that they had been part of any political group, wing, or party at last six months while 83.4% participated in political campaign, discussed political issues, and 73.6% argued that they convinced others for vote in coming 2013 election which is a positive sign of having political awareness.


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The Democratic Attitudes of Students and Their Political Participation
Quaid I Azam University  (Department of Sociology)
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Sikander Ali (Author), 2015, The Democratic Attitudes of Students and Their Political Participation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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