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Click Activism: Youth Civic Engagement Through Online Participatory Cultures

Youth create a social issue video and post it on YouTube. A tweet, then retweets and more tweets. The video goes viral. That issue that youth care about is suddenly all over the net, and receiving broad traditional media attention. With a simple click of the mouse, youth voices are being heard - loudly.

What’s going on?

Youth engaging in participatory cultures and bringing a new approach to addressing long-standing civic and social issues. Their civic engagement is non-traditional. Youth are using new media to organize, to create content, and then to circulate that content around the world – click activism.

Youth are “learning through practice” from peers and mentors, taking on leadership roles as they become active, committed citizens. They are engaging in “creative civic expression” in an online community or organization that encourages and sustains participation directed toward the public good. They are shaping issues through their content contributions, as well as through the attention and notoriety given the issue resulting from their social media circulation strategies.

Join us for a discussion with Neta Kligler-Vilenchik & Sangita Shresthova, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at University of Southern California, as they discuss their research on youth civic engagement and what participatory cultures and social media mean for youth programming, civic engagement, and leadership.

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