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Does social media and the Internet fuel youth political engagement?

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Uploaded on Aug 4, 2011

Professor Joseph Kahne, an expert on digital media and youth social enterprise, talks with smartmobs-crowdsourcing pioneer Howard Rheingold about new research that punctures core myths about cyberactivism, and strongly indicates that the virtual world nourishes youth engagement in real-world issues.

Joseph Kahne is the Chair & Co-Principal Investigator of the Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) Research Network. To learn more about this Research Network, go to http://ypp.dmlcentral.net.

Kahne describes the purpose of the YPP Research Network as "Thinking about the way in which young people's participation with the new digital media may be related to the different ways in which they participate civically, and politically, and in the public sphere more generally." (1:02)

Joseph cites activity within interest-driven online communities as a catalyst for increased civic engagement: "To the extent that [young people] were involved in those communities, even when those behaviors were unrelated to civic or political lives, [...] we saw increases in the degree to which they got involved civically. So, people were actually more likely to volunteer offline when they were part of these networks online." (5:49)

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