The Civic and Political Significance of Online Participatory Cultures among Youth Transitioning to Adulthood

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Discipline 1 Political science
Discipline 2
Publication Title The Civic and Political Significance of Online Participatory Cultures among Youth Transitioning to Adulthood
Description Much scholarship has examined how accessing news and other civic and politically oriented online activities can influence offline civic and political behaviors. Much less is known about the influence of nonpolitical online activity on civic and political practices. We found that youth engagement in some forms of nonpolitical online activity can serve as a gateway to participation in civic and political life, including volunteering, community problem solving, protest activities, and political voice. Unlike most prior work in this area that relies on convenience samples and cross-sectional data, we draw on two large panel studies, so we are able to control for prior levels of civic and political engagement. With such controls in place and with controls for a full range of demographic variables, we find that relationships between participation in nonpolitical online participatory cultures on the one hand and civic and political participation on the other remain statistically significant for both datasets. While politically driven online participation is clearly also worthy of attention, our findings indicate that it should not be seen as the only relevant bridge from online activity to civic and political engagement.
Publication Year 2013
Publication Author Joseph Kahne, Nam-Jin Lee, Jessica Feezell
Publication Type Study
Publisher Journal of Information Technology and Politics
Major Funders MacArthur Foundation, CIRCLE
Publication Link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19331681.2012.701109?casa_token=bv0Vb9ZkroMAAAAA:U4xh96-_KFpk3x0Rxh71qYT4I3jv7I535DRcndv8usQMfK6aV-CT-5D40c-99qLE7TK3_igeREjO