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Title: Does social networking have the potential to develop active citizenship in young adults
Author: Power, Andrew
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis looked at how young people are using social networking technologies in the context of active citizenship; how society and younger citizens in particular, are organising themselves in the context of new technologies such as social networking. The thesis built upon existing ideas from the literature in these areas and how a sample of younger citizens were putting social networking technologies to work; forming groups and governing their activities. It looked to a number of individuals and organisations from the political and not-for-profit sectors to get their perspective on the question posed. A typology of networks was developed and explored and an understanding of its connection with active citizenship explored with a sample of those engaged in it. Focus groups with young citizens demonstrated that their engagement with technology and level of connectivity was high. The balance between reach of connectivity and richness of content was shown to be key, both to the popularity of a given social network and the nature of its service. Social networking was shown to be an ideal tool for organising and promoting a wide range of activities and ventures, and in the view of the participants, is supporting and developing active citizenship. Social networks were seen to have the potential to develop active citizenship in part through the awareness building of issues and a primary source of customisable news and information. Young citizens felt empowered to comment, respond, organise or debate on the same platform that is delivering the news. Social networks provided both their primary view of the world and their primary means of interacting with it. The networking building inherent in social networks meant that users felt part of a bigger community which they often feel responsible for contributing to and caring about.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available