Young people in western societies have become increasingly alienated from politics - with a steady decline in voting and in membership of political parties as well as increasing dissatisfaction with mainstream political institutions. Young people today are less interested in the political environment than any other generation since World War II. This text explores the reasons why: is the phenomenon symptomatic of a more general decline in the public sphere, and in notions of civil virtue and responsibility? Or does commercial popular culture play a role in the rising tide of cynicism and political apathy in the young? On the other hand, postmodernist critics have seen these changes as an instance of the failure of mainstream journalism to remain sensitive to the changing needs and dispositions of the young. From this perspective, young people are seen to have developed new - and potentially more subversive - relationships with the media. Does this change herald a new age of postmodern citizenship, in which conventional definitions of "politics" are effectively irrelevant? This study analyzes the debates and presents the findings of extensive empirical research.