According to a new report, Black Youth engage in participatory politics online at rates equal to or slightly higher than white, Latino, and Asian-American Youth.
The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP), under the direction of co-principal investigators Cathy J. Cohen of the University of Chicago and Joseph Kahne of Mills College, today unveiled the findings of the largest nationally representative study to date of new media and politics among young people.
The national survey questioned 3,000 young people, ages 15-25 on how they use the Internet, social media and engage in politics. Unlike any prior study on the topic, the YPP survey included large numbers of black, Latino, and Asian American respondents, allowing for unique statistical comparisons across race. The data present one of the most complete pictures to date of how young people are using new media in new ways to engage politically, providing relevant insights on both the long-term political picture in America and the upcoming 2012 election.
The study report, Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action shows that contrary to the traditional notion of a technological digital divide, substantial numbers of young people across racial and ethic groups are engaging in “participatory politics” — acts such as starting a political group online, circulating a blog about a political issue, or forwarding political videos to friends. Like traditional political acts, these acts address issues of public concern. The difference is that participatory acts are interactive, peer-based, and do not defer to elites or formal institutions. They are also tied to digital or new media platforms that facilitate and amplify young people’s actions.
Check out the full report and an executive summary below!
Participatory Politics: New Media and Youth Political Action