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.

#youthaction: Becoming Political in the Digital Age
by Ben Kirshner (Editor) and Ellen Middaugh (Editor)
October 23, 2014
Social media and digital tools permeate the everyday lives of young people. In the early stages of commentary about the impact of the digital age on civic life, debates revolved around whether the Internet enhanced or discouraged civic and political action. Since then we have seen new media move to center stage in politics and activism--from the 2008 US election to the 2011 Arab Spring to the Occupy movement. We have also seen new patterns in how different sub-groups make use of digital media. These developments have pushed people to move beyond questions about whether new media are good or bad for civic life, to ask instead: how, under what conditions, and for whom, do new digital tools become resources for political critique and action by the young?