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.

Mechanisms of Translation: From Online Participatory Cultures to Participatory Politics
by Neta Kligler-Vilenchik
June 28, 2016
This article focuses on ways that participants in online participatory cultures can come to engage civically, developing their voice into meaningful social change. I propose the notion of “mechanisms of translation” as an explanatory mechanism linking the cultural and the political realm. Through mechanisms of translation, groups can leverage the same spaces, practices, and language that are honed in the context of online participatory cultures and are employed by participants for sociability and enjoyment to extend participatory politics and achieve civic goals. Using the case study of the Nerdfighters, an informal fan community encouraging civic action, I argue for the importance of out-of-school, youth-driven participatory spaces, exemplify how mechanisms of translation build on cultural skills, and consider why the “translation process” may be smoother toward some forms of influence (particularly consensual civics) than others (contentious politics).