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Social media and political participation among British youth.

Veneti, A., 2020. Social media and political participation among British youth. Journal of Promotional Communications, 8 (1), 41 - 59.

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Scholars have long debated on youth political disengagement; its causes and its solutions. Recent research (Gibson and Cantijoch 2013; Loader et al. 2014; Xenos et al. 2014) has suggested that social media has become a space where new forms of participation have been established. These forms of participation are distinct and disassociated from traditional participatory acts and institutions, proving to be more favourable among young people. While current research has addressed social media’s influence in facilitating new forms of participation, what has yet to be established is whether participating in these forms encourages young people to participate in traditional manners, such as voting. The aim of this study, therefore, was to explore whether political experiences on social media has encouraged young people to participate in traditional manners. This study presents the findings of a thematic analysis of eight semi-structured interviews, conducted with university students. The results of the study show that having a prior interest in and knowledge of politics is the key determinant in whether young people partake in traditional participatory acts. This research highlights that social media cannot encourage further participation for those who feel disconnected and uninterested in politics and political issues, and that negative features of social media, such as the ‘fear of aggression’, pose as serious boundaries for young people when wanting to participate.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:social media, political participation, young voters, political engagement, British politics
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:33889
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:22 Apr 2020 11:16
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:21


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