To what extent do stories we read and watch for fun have an impact on our political views and thinking? A new book by a political science professor at the University of Vermont, based on a national survey of college students, suggests that the influence of the Harry Potter series on the Millennial Generation (1982-2002) may extend far beyond the fantasy world of Hogwarts and wizardry.
Harry Potter and the Millennials: Research Methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation (John Hopkins University Press, 2013) reveals that readers of the seven-book series and viewers of the movie franchise tend be more open to diversity; politically tolerant; less authoritarian; less likely to support the use of deadly force or torture; more politically active; and are more likely to have a negative view of the Bush administration. About 60 percent of those who read all of the books said they voted for Obama in 2008, and 83 percent of the full-series readers said they viewed the Bush Administration unfavorably.
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