Harry Potter Casts Spell on Millennials' Political Views
Readers show 'greater support for equality': Anthony Gierzynski
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 20, 2014 2:36 PM CDT
A 2007 file photo of a happy Harry Potter fan.   (AP Photo/John Amis)

(Newser) – JK Rowling's boy wizard hasn't just entertained millennials—he's worked his magic on their political views as well, writes a political science professor who's studied the subject. After surveying university students, Anthony Gierzynski found that "reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for out-groups, higher political tolerance, less predisposition to authoritarianism, greater support for equality, and greater opposition to the use of violence and torture," he writes at the Conversation. (Previously, he has argued that the Harry Potter series helped get President Obama re-elected, notes the College Fix.)

Some have questioned whether entertainment can actually affect our political views, Gierzynski writes. He would argue differently. "When we’re consuming entertainment stories it’s likely that we’re more susceptible to politically relevant messages—we’re relaxing, having fun, our political 'guard' is down," he writes. What's more, researchers have considered whether entertainment affects our stances on violence and sex; why not politics? Indeed, Gierzynski's research goes beyond Potter into the worlds of Game of Thrones and House of Cards, which appear to "reduce the tendency to believe in a just world." Click for his full piece.

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Showing 3 of 49 comments
gomer99
Sep 14, 2014 8:23 PM CDT
Really ? Thank dog they don't vote in any significant numbers.
Ezekiel 25:17
Aug 31, 2014 11:47 AM CDT
Didn't know that Angus T Jones was into that stuff. But you know we saw a lot of it with the Clinton administration (need to clarify that as Wilhelm since Hillary will be in office when this is still viewable). Willey promised young people a land of milk and honey. Well into his presidency and the 1993 liberal supermajority, "Saturday Night Live" did a skit reflecting the feelings of many of the youth who supported him. The skit was called, "Where is my stuff?" Kids were disappointed Clinton had not delivered their stuff when he had a dictatorship of D.C. That disenfranchisement caused him to loose control of congress in the mid term elections. Then it caused him to be hog tied in his second term. It qualified him to tutor slumdumbo on his lame duck last years.
Veritas
Aug 24, 2014 6:37 PM CDT
Never saw a Harry Potter movie ...Now Lord o the Rings, some good stuff there.