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.

Doing Civics in the Digital Age: Casual, Purposeful, and Strategic Approaches to Participatory Politics
by Margaret Rundle, Emily Weinstein, Howard Gardner, & Carrie James
September 30, 2015
This report explores 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, the authors examine reported uses of new media as part of five participatory practices: investigation, circulation, production, dialogue and feedback, and mobilization. The authors investigate the nature, and quality, of youths’ use of these practices. They 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. Also explored are the factors that appear to contribute to more or less robust uses of new media for civic and political purposes.