» Posts tagged: ‘US


Why is it that American youth increasingly think that the sending of US troops to Vietnam was ok?

Gallup has run regular polls among US residents about the sending of US troops to Iraq. The figure indicates that, indeed, most respondents view it as a ‘mistake’, but that this a drop from 2008-09 when far more respondents viewed it as a mistake.

Interestingly, Gallup presents its data also in age-disaggregated and comparative form (comparing three American wars):

The data show significant variation by generation for the (lack of) support for American military action in Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam. With the exception of the case of Afghanistan it is among the youngest cohort (18-29 years) that support for the sending of US troops is highest. Moreover, it is only among this age group that the sending of troops to Vietnam in the 1960s is seen as a ‘good’ thing. The Gallup report evokes a Mannheimian explanation in making sense of this observation by stating that ‘perhaps that is because they have no personal memory of the conflict’.

posted by Roy Huijsmans

posted by Roy Huijsmans

Children have long featured in debates on guns in the US (see for example reports by the Children’s Defense Fund) but perhaps not as centrally as is the case now. All major US news-sites report on the role of children in both Obama’s announcement of a package aiming to lead to a reduction in gun violence, and in a video released by the National Rifle Association which calls for the precise opposite: more guns in the name of securing American children.

It is interesting too to take note of the framing of children’s voices. Fox News runs an article entitled ‘Obama deploys kids in push for gun ban’ and speaks of the use of children ‘to advance a political agenda’. The New Yorker reporting on the same event in an article entitled ‘Children at Obama’s gun speech’ describes the letter-writing children as ‘political actors’ and ‘petitioners of their President and their government’.

International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.