What is Youth Political Engagement? A Social Media Case Analysis of Apathy is Boring

By Sheridy Leslie.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The current study examines the ways in which youth political engagement is constructed online, particularly through the use of social media technologies (SMTs). To investigate this further, a qualitative case study analysis of the youth organization, Apathy is Boring, was conducted. Using the organization’s microblog (i.e. Twitter page) as a source of data, a critical discourse analysis was conducted. Collectively, the findings of this study suggested that youth political engagement forms a complex network of meanings that reinforce the prevailing status quo on what is political, while shedding light on how new technologies such as SMTs are being used to bolster the power of authoritative figures to influence when, and by what means, engagement becomes political when young people are involved. Thus, the current study has contributed to existing literature by uncovering the underlying messages that are simultaneously utilized to define and engage young Canadians within issues of political interest.

Keywords: Youth, Politics, Engagement, Social Media Technology, Canada

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.21-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 240.235KB).

Sheridy Leslie

Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sheridy Leslie is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Sheridy holds a B.A. and BSc. in psychology and biotechnology respectively, and she is currently in the process of earning her Master of Arts degree specializing in political sociology. Moreover, her appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship has led her to her current research, which focuses on the political engagement of social actors as it is expressed through new communication technologies online, in addition to investigating how online political involvement becomes translated into real life action.