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.

Youth Activism Project
  • Project Description

    The Youth Activism Project (YAP), led by Network member Jennifer Earl, focused on youth engagement in online activism, particularly more ephemeral forms of activism (often referred to as flash activism). The project pursued a suite of projects on the topic, including:


    • a comparison of youth-directed versus adult-directed websites for activism;

    • a review of findings from political communication that could be incorporated into research on youth social movement engagement;

    • an interview-based study with youth who never, sometimes, or frequently engaged in flash activism to understand how youth make decisions about participating in flash activism, particularly in contrast to other options (such as disengagement or more sustained activism); 

    • a review of research on the consequences of online social movement activity which was compiled into a searchable database called the Social Movement Outcomes Database;

    • an edited volume based on research presented at a convening composed of activists and scholars that will chart an agenda for studying the consequences of flash activism for youth;

    • an evaluation of the effectiveness of online boycotts, including evaluating whether youth market-orientations by companies influence effectiveness;

    • and an interview-based study of how targets perceive online protest tactics.


    Social Movement Outcomes Database

    The Social Outcomes Database enables users to filter studies based on the type of outcome under examination, the specific outcome, the mechanisms/factors associated with the outcome, the time period or locations covered by the data, and specific data sources. 



    Earl, Jennifer, Jayson Hunt, R. Kelly Garrett, and Aysenur Dal. forthcoming. “New Technologies and Social Movements.” Forthcoming in Oxford Handbook of Social Movements, edited by Donatella Della Porta and Mario Diani. Cambridge: Oxford University Press.


    Earl, Jennifer, Jayson Hunt, and R. Kelly Garrett. 2014. “Social movements and the ICT Revolution.” 2014. Pp. 359-383 in Handbook of Political Citizenship and Social Movements, edited by Hein-Anton van der Heijden. Massachusetts: Edward Elgar Publishing.


    Earl, Jennifer. 2013. “Spreading the Word or Shaping the Conversation: “Prosumption” in Protest Websites.” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change 36: 3-38. (Lead Article)



    Earl, Jennifer. 2014 “Explaining Youth Engagement in Offline and Online Activism.” Department of Sociology, University of Illinois, Chicago. April 2, 2014.