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David Buckingham

David Buckingham is Professor of Media and Communications at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK. He is the author of The Material Child: Growing Up in Consumer Culture and other books.

Titles by This Author

Young People, the Internet, and Civic Participation

There has been widespread concern in contemporary Western societies about declining engagement in civic life; people are less inclined to vote, to join political parties, to campaign for social causes, or to trust political processes. Young people in particular are frequently described as alienated or apathetic. Some have looked optimistically to new media—and particularly the Internet—as a means of revitalizing civic life and democracy. Governments, political parties, charities, NGOs, activists, religious and ethnic groups, and grassroots organizations have created a range of youth-oriented websites that encourage widely divergent forms of civic engagement and use varying degrees of interactivity. But are young people really apathetic and lacking in motivation? Does the Internet have the power to re-engage those disenchanted with politics and civic life?

Based on a major research project funded by the European Commission, this book attempts to understand the role of the Internet in promoting young people’s participation. Examples are drawn from Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom—countries offering contrasting political systems and cultural contexts. The book also addresses broader questions about the meaning of civic engagement, the nature of new forms of participation, and their implications for the future of civic life.

Titles by This Editor

As young people today grow up in a world saturated with digital media, how does it affect their sense of self and others? As they define and redefine their identities through engagements with technology, what are the implications for their experiences as learners, citizens, consumers, and family and community members? This volume addresses the consequences of digital media use for young people’s individual and social identities.

The contributors explore how young people use digital media to share ideas and creativity and to participate in networks that are small and large, local and global, intimate and anonymous. They look at the emergence of new genres and forms, from SMS and instant messaging to home pages, blogs, and social networking sites. They discuss such topics as "girl power" online, the generational digital divide, young people and mobile communication, and the appeal of the "digital publics" of MySpace, considering whether these media offer young people genuinely new forms of engagement, interaction, and communication.

Contributors:
Angela Booker, danah boyd, Kirsten Drotner, Shelley Goldman, Susan C. Herring, Meghan McDermott, Claudia Mitchell, Gitte Stald, Susannah Stern, Sandra Weber, Rebekah Willett.