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Journal of Social Change

Abstract

The extent to which civic and citizenship education captures the ways Latino youth perceive their roles as social change agents is largely absent from academic literature. This article examines how youth perceptions of and interactions with civic education define the civic lens they apply to their societies. The article examines a new way of interpreting the International Civic and Citizenship Study data and how it investigates new ways to view the civic lens of youth within three Latin American countries. Results of the exploratory factor analysis indicate a three-factor structure of civic lenses and show that youth who have been exposed to particular postconflict ideologies have developed a basic national understanding of civics. Findings provide insight into the utility of a tool for assessing youths' notions of social agents of change based upon pertinent civic perspectives. Such assessment may identify factors to be addressed by organizations seeking to deepen understanding and increase meaningfulness of civic action for youth.

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