About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6775-6780
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0547

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

A STUDENT PERSPECTIVE ON AUTHORITARIANISM AND THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: 2016

M. Denfeld

Pima Community College (UNITED STATES)
Worldwide we are experiencing the rise of fundamental groups who fear their traditional way of life is disappearing. To guard against this, they are employing violence, both verbal and action based as a means to counter the perceived threat.

In the United States, since the 9/11 attack, we have seen a growing identification with authoritarian principles. This is currently most evident in the presidential election candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Their answers to pressing social, economic and globalization demands are often diametrically opposing views on what should be done.

This study proposes to look at the voting group of 18-25 years old freshmen college students at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. We are an ethnically diverse group and the participants will be from my 5 Fall Semester writing classes: approximately 100 total students. The average age is 21.

The objectives of the study are to identify voting age students as to their understanding of authoritarianism and to determine how strongly they identify with the principles of authoritarianism. Using Feldman’s definitive measurement of authoritarianism as a pre-test, the students will be able to self-identify with the profile of authoritarians. Then using sections of Amanda Taub’s article “The Rise of American authoritarianism (VOX.COM, March 1, 2016), we will do collaborative exploration on three of the major sections: I. “What is American authoritarianism?” IV. “Trump, authoritarians, and fear” and IX. ”How authoritarians will change American politics?” We will post-test with Feldman’s measurement and critique the results. Will studying and discussing the principles of these ideas change the thoughts, identification and perhaps voting behavior of this student population?

Because this election is unique in American history and because certain trends such as immigration, Muslims, terrorist threats and crime play to the fears of the authoritarians, and are seen as a disruptive and chaotic force destroying the social order, they are seeking a leader that is strong, punitive and offers simple solutions to complex problems. Exposing students to information about this ideology and giving them space to explore ideas and questions will help them decide their opinions regarding the candidates and their voting preferences. This is the role of education: exposure, exploration and engagement.

It is a unique study with a unique population of predominately first time voters. The future of American politics rests largely in their hands and as an educated population their views and votes will determine our course into the future.
@InProceedings{DENFELD2016AST,
author = {Denfeld, M.},
title = {A STUDENT PERSPECTIVE ON AUTHORITARIANISM AND THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: 2016},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0547},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0547},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6775-6780}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Denfeld
TI - A STUDENT PERSPECTIVE ON AUTHORITARIANISM AND THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: 2016
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0547
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6775
EP - 6780
ER -
M. Denfeld (2016) A STUDENT PERSPECTIVE ON AUTHORITARIANISM AND THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: 2016, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 6775-6780.
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