YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

About

The YPP Network

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of the recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors. We believe that youth engagement in participatory politics reflects fundamental changes in political expectations, the developmental pathways that can lead to engagement, and the ways in which youth can be politically active. Through research and targeted action projects YPP is working to understand participatory politics, and support the development and implementation of best practices around youth engagement in participatory politics.

 

In the first phase, YPP focused on conceptualizing and examining the implications of the rise of new media for the practice of politics and for youth civic and political development, and on analyzing the quantity, quality, and equality of youth engagement in participatory politics. For more on survey findings see - YPPSP report. Research continues in phase II of the grant, but there is an additional focus on putting research into practice through work with educators, platform designers and activists. For more on this see Action Projects.

 

Participatory Politics

Participatory Politics are interactive, peer-based acts through which individuals and groups seek to exert both voice and influence on issues of public concern through the following types of activities:

  • Investigation - Members of a community collect, and analyze online information from multiple sources, and often provide a check on information circulated by traditional media outlets.
  • Dialogue and feedback - Commenting on blogs, or providing feedback to political leaders through other digital means is increasingly how young people are joining public dialogues and making their voices heard around civic and political issues.
  • Circulation - In participatory politics, the flow of information is shaped by many in the broader community rather than by a small group of elites. 
  • Production - In addition to circulating information young people increasingly create original online digital content around issues of public concern that potentially reach broader audiences.
  • Mobilization - Members of a community mobilize others often through online networks to help accomplish civic or political goals.