Mobile democracy: Young Danes, informed citizenship, and perceptions of democracy

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Abstract

This paper focuses on young Danes’ use of news media, and on the impact of information through various channels on their perceptions of informed citizenship respectively own democratic potential.
The profound changes in information and debate patterns and -practices are vital for young citizens’ civic self-efficacy, which is challenged by prevailing normative perceptions in society of good information and information channels. Societal reference points through editorial gatekeeper functions are increasingly missing and young people rely on available digital media, while still including traditional media and f2f encounters in their information repertoire. Our data show that young Danes’ perceptions of politics and democracy are affected by ad hoc, casual meetings with information and by situational, case-based thoughts about and attitudes towards local and global political issues. Clear ideological coherence is often absent, but our informants demonstrate that they are better informed and have more opinions than their self-presentation indicate. The paper does not claim that this mobile approach to informed citizenship and formation of democratic pointers is critical as such but aims to provide insights about potential transformations in future foundations of democracy.
The paper draws on 16 in-depth interviews and a questionnaire with 256 respondents, both with 15-24-year-old Danes. Informants were selected strategically, hence, the result from the questionnaire is not representative. The study was conducted during spring 2021 in relation to the project Youth, Trust, Information, and Democracy. The findings are supported by results from three representative surveys (DECIDIS 2015, 2016, and 2017) conducted among Danes from 15 years.

Conference

ConferenceICA Preconference. Young People & News in a Digital World: Local and Global Perspectives
LocationISCOM Paris
Country/TerritoryFrance
CityParis
Period26/05/202226/05/2022
Internet address

Keywords

  • Democracy
  • Youth
  • informed citizenship

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