The future engagement of young citizens from a wide range of socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds in democratic politics remains a crucial concern for academics, policy-makers, civics teachers and youth workers around the world. At a time when the negative relationship between socio-economic inequality and levels of political participation is compounded by high youth unemployment or precarious employment in many countries, it is not surprising that new social media communications may be seen as a means to re-engage young citizens. This edited collection explores the influence of social media, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, upon the participatory culture of young citizens.
This collection, comprising contributions from a number of leading international scholars in this field, examines such themes as the possible effects of social media use upon patterns of political socialization; the potential of social media to ameliorate young people’s political inequality; the role of social media communications for enhancing the civic education curriculum; and evidence for social media manifesting new forms of political engagement and participation by young citizens. These issues are considered from a number of theoretical and methodological approaches but all attempt to move beyond simplistic notions of young people as an undifferentiated category of ‘the internet generation’.
'This comprehensive collection of studies on networked citizenship covers changes in civic orientations, patterns of media use, modes of participation and organization, socialization and citizenship education, and the emergence of large scale protest. It is the new sourcebook for the field.'
— W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington, Seattle
'The growing disconnect between young people and mainstream politics has been emerging as a central motif in the ongoing dilemmas of democracy, yet has all too often been framed by easy generalisations. This impressive volume charts a much more nuanced course; it rigorously probes the idea of ‘the networked young citizen’ both conceptually and empirically. The chapters explore the role of social media in relation to the other key factors that shape young people’s evolving political horizons – and in so doing establish a new frontline in our understanding.'
— Peter Dahlgren, Lund University, Sweden
'The contributors represent a wide array of disciplines, methodologies, and nationalities, providing the book a degree of diversity that is compatible with its underlying claim: younger generations engage politics and society as a function of semantic rather than physical proximity. This is echoed by contemporaries such as Malcolm Gladwell (who argues against socially primitive reliance on space and time) and Jakob Nielsen. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.'
— N. D. Bowman, West Virginia University, CHOICE