Perceptions of Participation and the Share Button

Katrin Tiidenberg, Airi-Alina Allaste

Abstract


This article analyses Estonian youth’s perceptions of their own political participation and their practices of participation on social media. We analysed 60 interviews with Estonian informants in a MYPLACE study and relied on a conceptual broadening that acknowledges the political potential of everyday. We relay on theories of standby citizenship and spiral of silence to understand signing petitions, commenting, liking and sharing politically minded content online. Based on this we suggest that young people in Estonia are interested in political issues and public opinion and their social media use represents a diversification of how citizens take part in civic matters. However, youths do not necessarily believe in the efficacy of social media in enacting political change and their reasons for not participating can be seen as indicative of a desire for both impression management and being affected by the spiral of silence.


Keywords


new repertoires of political participation, youth social media practices, social media and political participation, perceptions of participation.

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