The future engagement of young citizens from a wide range of socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds in democratic politics remains a crucial concern for academics, policy-makers, civics teachers and youth workers around the world. At a time when the negative relationship between socio-economic inequality and levels of political participation is compounded by high youth unemployment or precarious employment in many countries, it is not surprising that new social media communications may be seen as a means to re-engage young citizens. This edited collection explores the influence of social media, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, upon the participatory culture of young citizens.

This collection, comprising contributions from a number of leading international scholars in this field, examines such themes as the possible effects of social media use upon patterns of political socialization; the potential of social media to ameliorate young people’s political inequality; the role of social media communications for enhancing the civic education curriculum; and evidence for social media manifesting new forms of political engagement and participation by young citizens. These issues are considered from a number of theoretical and methodological approaches but all attempt to move beyond simplistic notions of young people as an undifferentiated category of ‘the internet generation’.

chapter |13 pages

Introduction: The Networked Young Citizen

Social Media, Political Participation and Civic Engagement

part |89 pages

Political Culture, Socialization and Social Media Adoption

chapter |22 pages

The Great Equalizer?

Patterns of Social Media Use and Youth Political Engagement in Three Advanced Democracies

chapter |21 pages

Spaces for Public Orientation?

Longitudinal Effects of Internet Use in Adolescence

chapter |26 pages

Political Influence across Generations

Partisanship and Candidate Evaluations in the 2008 US Presidential Election

chapter |18 pages

Facing an Uncertain Reception

Young Citizens and Political Interaction on Facebook

part |47 pages

Agency, Mobilization and the Voice of the Young Citizen

chapter |19 pages

‘The Outraged Young'

Young Europeans, Civic Engagement and the Social Media in a Time of Crisis