This project will analyse the potential contribution of the internet to promoting civic engagement and participation among young people (aged 15-25). It will focus specifically on the range of youth-oriented civic sites now emerging on the web. These sites are created by many different organisations, interest groups and individuals; and they range from small-scale, local initiatives to national and international projects. Potentially, they constitute a powerful form of non formal learning, affecting the development of social capital, and political, social and economic participation. The research will focus on three key dimensions of this phenomenon: " the production of such sites, including the motivations, working practices and economic models of the producers (primarily moderators and web workers) " the nature and characteristics of the sites, in terms of their content and formal features (design, mode of address, structure), and the extent to which they invite active participation among their users " the uses and interpretations made of such sites by different social groups of young people, and the relationship between this online activity and their civic participation 'offline'. The project will seek to assess how these developments vary across the different political cultures of seven European member states; and their implications for intergenerational relations, both at a 'macro' level and at the 'micro' level of family relationships. The research will use quantitative and qualitative methods; and it will seek to identify instances of 'good practice' that can inform practitioners and policy-makers in relevant fields.
|Effective start/end date||1/09/06 → 31/08/09|
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