Framing young citizens: explicit invitation and implicit exclusion on European youth civic websites.
Language and Intercultural Communication, 11
This paper takes as its focus discourses about young people, intercultural citizenship, voice and participation on a range of youth civic websites surveyed during the project CivicWeb. This was a 3-year, seven-country European Commission funded study of young people, the Internet and civic participation. Specifically, it calls upon evidence from qualitative case studies of three contemporary civic websites in Britain, the UK Youth Parliament, European Youth Portal and MuslimYouth.Net, including textual analysis as well as interviews with key producers and young users of these and other civic sites. In light of current debates around the best means of engaging young people in civic activities on- and offline, the paper seeks to answer questions about the potential benefits and dangers of producers' pedagogic styles, ideological perspectives and normative choices in relation to young people's civic motivation and efficacy. Finally the paper looks at the match or disjuncture between the sites' missions for youth citizenship and the actual young people who respond to the sites' address and ethos and asks how more civic producers can move towards a situated, motivating and inclusive model of communication on- and offline.
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