Published: June 8, 2018 | Times of India
How do the online platforms, including social media sites, video sharing platforms and blogs help the youth express their civic concerns? How do they engage with the global audience with local issues?
Researchers from Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA) analyzed two major international blog platforms, YouThink and Voice of Youth — launched by World Bank and UNICEF respectively, to answer these questions. They found that it helps the youth find their voice to express and explore dimension such as identity, value, knowledge and information, connection/community/networks, expression/ voice, dialogue/ deliberation and action. The paper titled ‘Young people as global citizens: negotiation of youth civic participation in adult-managed online spaces’ by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia from department of communication, MICA, has been published in the Journal of Youth Studies on June 2. The researchers interviewed 20 bloggers under the age of 24 from nine countries namely the US, Guatemala, Cuba, Guyana, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Japan. “Our analysis shows how negotiated reading of the encoded messages on online platforms for youth civic engagement marks a political moment of signification in which there lies a possibility of challenging the dominance of the adult-centered notions of civic engagement,” said Shelat, associate professor with MICA. The study found that web platforms use strategies such as agenda setting for content production, gatekeeping and monitoring, discursive articulation of global citizenship and using affordances of internet to encourage youth participation. “The participants consider these managed spaces as spaces conducive for civic engagement as well as civic learning,” wrote the researchers.