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Title: The digital silent revolution? : young people, political activism and cyber-cultural values in Britain and Greece
Author: Theocharis, I.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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The thesis examines the impact of cultural values on young people's patterns of political participation. The core argument of the thesis is that electoral and party politics do not anymore accurately describe young people's participation trends which are moving away from the formal political arena towards a more extra-institutional type of participation. The thesis acknowledges the new opportunities for participation offered by the internet and the unexplored role of cultural values in the online space. Inglehart's theory of value change is used to explore the impact of postmaterialism on political participation in both offline and online realms. The thesis compares the youths of Greece and Britain. The two countries are compared due to their differences in the levels of postmaterialism, economic development and internet penetration. The thesis puts forward new and revised questionnaire items for the study of political participation and introduces an entirely new battery of questions for researching online political participation. According to the results, extra-institutional participation is a far more popular type of participation than traditional political participation in both Greece and Britain and in both its offline and online forms. In bivariate analysis, postmaterialism has a positive and statistically significant relationship with offline and online extra-institutional participation in both countries, while online extra-institutional participation is significantly associated with its offline aspect. In multivariate analysis, postmaterialism is a statistically significant predictor for extra-institutional participation in the case of Greece but only in the offline environment. Results from multivariate analysis also show that postmaterialism is not a statistically significant predictor for online or offline extra-institutional participation in Britain but remains an important contributing factor. Overall, young people in Greece are more politically active in the offline and online extra-institutional arena than young Britons. However, levels of postmaterialism among young people in the two countries are not statistically different.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available