London Metropolitan University Research Institutes
 

The role of internet discussions in promoting the civic participation of young people in Latvian case studies

Author(s) Jurgena, I. & Mikainis, Z.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2014  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Innovative Practice and Research Trends in Identity, Citizenship and Education  
Age group -  
Keywords/Abstract
Participation is an important aspect of youth policy both at national and the EU level. Studies conducted in Latvia as a post-Communist society show that the majority of young people have never taken part in political activities. A third of the youth are not involved in social and civic activities. At the same time, 76% of the youth admit that they have possibilities and willingness to join various thematic online discussion groups. In view of this participation data particular attention is paid to activating youth communication and involvement processes. Participation in various non-formal networks is particularly emphasized. Thus, preference is given to the participation forms which correspond to a particular lifestyle. Various internet discussions concerning citizenship-related situations facilitate the implementation of individualized civic participation and generally promote individuals’ autonomy and increase the diversity of interests and opinions. The purpose of the article is to study and evaluate the theoretical insight in the potential of online communication and analyse the data obtained in particular case studies concerning the role of internet discussions in activating the civic participation of the youth in Latvia. Content analysis of the discussions in the online discussion list ‘For Honest Politics’ is presented. Results show that where participants come together in order to achieve a particular aim there is improvement the quality of civic participation.
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