Everyday Making through Facebook Engagement: Young Citizens’ Political Interactions in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Political Studies, 2016, 64, (3), pp. 513-533
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The emergence of personalised, interactive forms of social media has led to questions about the use of these platforms for engagement in politics. Existing research focuses on whether political actors successfully engage citizens, and how social media platforms mobilise young people into offline participation. In this article, we present original survey data on how many young people use social media to do politics: share information, express themselves, and take action. Everyday Facebook use is underpinned by young people’s engaged citizenship norms, and it has the potential to mobilise a broader range of young people. We contextualise the survey findings with qualitative analysis of how young people describe their willingness to engage in politics on social media. There is a general reluctance to take political action due to the possibility of conflict and disagreement within their networks; however, some acknowledge it is a way to bring the disengaged into political debate.
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