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Doing civics in the digital age: casual, purposeful, and strategic approaches to participatory politics


In this report, we explore how civic youth use Facebook, Twitter, and other online mechanisms to help them address issues that matter in their communities and in the world. Drawing primarily on a data set of in-depth interviews with 70 civically and politically active youth between the ages of 15 and 25, we examine reported uses of new media as part of five participatory practices: investigation, circulation, production, dialogue and feedback, and mobilization. We investigate the nature, and quality, of youths’ use of these practices. We surface three distinct approaches to new media-enabled participation—casual, purposeful, and strategic—and describe how these approaches play out among the five participatory practices. We also explore the factors that appear to contribute to more or less robust uses of new media for civic and political purposes...

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