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Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Boberienė, Liepa V.
Title: Digital worlds and civic opportunities: connecting online and offline activism in Lithuania
Is part of: Media transformations, 2013, vol. 10, p. 14-39
Date: 2013
Keywords: Youth development;Media technologies;Civic participation;Social networking;Political expression
Abstract: Although democratization via new media technologies has received considerable attention in recent years, empirical research is lacking. The opportunities offered by Internet engagement must be studied at the user-level, looking at individuals’ own grassroots participation. Lithuania serves as an interesting case study, as civic culture is developing simultaneously with the spread of new technologies. The purpose of this study was to examine the types of Internet participation and the civic attitudes that contribute to offline engagement in organizations, local community activities, and political discussions among Lithuanian university students. A 2012 web-based survey of 580 18- to 30-year-olds from five major Lithuanian universities provided evidence that strong associations exist between Internet engagement and structural features of society, civic attitudes, and civic activism offline. Internet activities, centred on social networking, information exchange, and political expression, provide opportunities for creative construction of communities and involvement in civil society. Such online experiences play an important role in shaping young adults’ social environments, where they experiment with interests and identities. By choosing the ways that they engage online, youth are active agents in their civic development.
Appears in Collections:Media Transformations 2013, vol. 10

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