[Air-L] CfP ECPR Conference Panel on Young Citizens and Social Media

Brian Loader brian.loader at york.ac.uk
Fri Jan 11 02:31:53 PST 2013

Brian Loader, Ariadne Vromen and Mike Xenos are currently organizing a
panel entitled 'Young citizens’ socially mediated voice in a cold economic
wind: bringing ‘old’ concepts of political inequality back in?' for the
forthcoming ECPR General Conference to be held in Bordeaux,
5th-7thSeptember 2013. If you would like present a paper at the panel
we invite
you to submit a proposal  online at *
http://ecprnet.eu/Events/SectionList.aspx?EventID=5* under the section on
Internet & Politics : towards new concepts in political science ?


 Recent protests and campaigns undertaken predominantly by young citizens
in Europe, the Middle East and North America, have focused attention on the
elective affinity of social media, unconventional political youth cultures
and the alienation of a new generation of citizens. The early hyperbole and
simplistic accounts of ‘Twitter revolutions’ have been appropriately
critiqued by political scientists. However more general discussion of
social media still retains a largely unchallenged set of assumptions about
its inherent democratic properties and socialising capabilities for
engaging young people. Yet such optimism either ignores the well
established negative relationship between socio-economic inequality and
levels of political participation or it discounts the importance of
traditional political concepts such collective action, social justice,
participation and the public sphere for democratic governance.  Set against
a context of high youth unemployment in many countries (e.g. 50% in Spain
and Greece, 19% in the UK, 17% in Ireland) and skilled graduates
increasingly entering precarious occupations, this panel seeks to explore
how socially differentiated (class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality) young
citizens interact with social media and are politically influenced by it in
pluralistic ways. It will reflect on whether social media use for political
engagement ameliorates young people’s political inequality in a distinct
period of time when they are experiencing increased social and economic
precarity. The panel also seeks papers that will consider the value of
research into social media as a means of informing our understanding of
both contemporary normative values of young citizens and as evidence for
emerging alternative models of political engagement.

Discussant: Michele Micheletti (University of Stockholm)

Brian D. Loader,
Associate Director SATSU,
Editor, Information, Communication & Society
Programme Director, SPS
Chair Sociology BoS

Department of Sociology,
Wentworth College,
University of York,

Tel:  +44(0)1904 432639
Fax:+44(0)1904 433043

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