1st Edition

Young People, Media and Politics in the Digital Age

By Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova Copyright 2024
    242 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The book explores the relationship among young people, politics and the media. It presents a novel multidimensional analytical framework – The Circle Line Media Model, which accounts for the importance of a range of processes, actors and social structures in the political socialisation process.

    By defining political socialisation as a lifelong interactive process that develops civic cultures, collective identities and citizenship, underpinned by social structures, nationality and generational order, the author draws attention to its manifestation in acts of political participation and interactions with authoritative actors such as school/teachers, family, the media and friends/peers. The volume’s longitudinal study on young people, Europe and the media spanning 13 years of research in two very different countries also makes recommendations for more effectively engaging young people with politics and political media based on Generation Z’s own views about current deficiencies in their relationship with news media.

    Shedding new light on the changing nature of young people’s engagement with politics, this book will be of interest to researchers, lecturers/professors and upper level undergraduate and postgraduate students in the fields of media studies, communication and journalism studies as well as politics and sociology.

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Part I. Conceptualising the Relationship Among Young People, Media and Politics

    Chapter 2. Young People and the Media

    Chapter 3. Young People and Politics

    Chapter 4. Young People, Media and Politics

    Part II: Political Socialisation, Collective Identities and Citizenship in the Digital Age

    Chapter 5. Generation Z, News Consumption and Political Media

    Chapter 6. Young People and Banal Nationalism

    Chapter 7. Young People, Brexit and Banal Europeanism

    Chapter 8. Young People, Banal Americanism and Foreign Countries

    Chapter 9. Conclusion and Recommendations



    Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova is a Reader in Global Journalism and Media at the University of Liverpool, UK. She is the author of Global Journalism: An Introduction (with Michael Bromley), Russia’s Liberal Media: Handcuffed but Free and Discussing Trump’s America Online: Digital Commenting in China, Mexico and Russia.

    Through careful comparative analysis of two very different settings, Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova brings fresh contemporary insights to the well-established debate about young people’s changing roles in civic life. This is a truly multi-dimensional analysis: it assesses the contribution of media in relation to other forms of socialisation; and it makes use of media content analysis, longitudinal data, and surveys with young people, parents and teachers. In the process, it suggests constructive ways of rethinking the key terms of debate, as well as engaging with some of the more disturbing political developments of our times.

    David Buckingham, Professor, Loughborough University and Kings College London, UK 

    With a methodology that explores the various factors shaping political socialization and that allows the reader to hear from young people themselves, this book provides evidence that whether in school, homes, or via the media, the bolder and more consistent the political conversation the young person engages in, the more impact that conversation has. It’s a striking argument for political education that goes beyond an emphasis on names and dates and that will engage young people in the topics and issues that resonate with their concerns.

    Lynn Schofield Clark, Distinguished University of Denver Professor in Media, Film and Journalism Studies and co-author, Young People and the Future of News

    Slavtcheva-Petkova forcefully argues for the need to better understand what young people need from journalism to support their development as politically active and responsible citizens. Young people are the future of democracy, so it is surprising and disappointing this remains an under researched subject. Through her extensive qualitative research with young people in the UK and Bulgaria over more than a decade, she concluded journalism has failed to help them meaningfully connect with the world around them in ways to which they can relate. The book concludes with a set of helpful recommendations to help young people better connect with the political world. These include making spaces for their voices to be heard on issues about which they are passionate; to involve them in news production to understand the importance of truth telling in journalism; to use social media to connect with young people where they already are; and to press for greater involvement of adults (parents; schools) in nurturing their citizenship. This is a must read book for students and scholars of media, communication, journalism and children and media studies.

    Dr Cynthia Carter, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University, UK