chapter  8
13 Pages

Rethinking online youth civic engagement: Reflections on web content analysis

ByROMAN GERODIMOS, JANELLE WARD

Research on youth civic engagement is expanding, as scholars grow increasingly concerned about the state of participation in liberal democracies. The Internet is fast becoming an embedded part of teens’ life world (Lenhart et al., 2005) as well as a key domain of political interaction and communication. Understanding how young citizens communicate and participate – what their needs, motivations, gratifications and online preferences are – is vital in building tools of civic engagement that will facilitate their participation and, ultimately, empower them. At the same time it is necessary to evaluate what is on offer in terms of civic engagement spaces on the Internet.