Youth Engaged by ICTs for Social Change and Development: Participation as Empowerment and Manipulation

  • Norbert Wildermuth (Foredragsholder)

Aktivitet: Foredrag og mundtlige bidragForedrag og præsentationer i privat eller offentlig virksomhed



Participation has been a key concept in development initiatives and state-funded projects of social change worldwide, since the 1970s. In recent years ICTs interactive potential has nourished optimistic (at times enthusiastic) expectations regarding their usefulness as tools of participatory involvement; so not at least with regard to health, educational, democratic, peace-building and other initiatives direct at young people. The seemingly ‘ease' with which young people embrace ICTs and the obvious extent of user-generated content contributed by youth has further underwritten this prospect.

In my paper, I will challenge some of the technology- and media-centric understandings of these claims and outline a more contextualized understanding of ICT-facilitated processes of participation. An identification of different ‘types' and ‘qualities' of active participation spanning from more consumption-based practices of sharing mediated experience and information to collective forms of ICT-supported social mobilisations, will be central to my delineation of a more appropriate theoretical frame. Empirically, I will substantiate my arguments based on the preliminary findings of a planned field study in Brazil in spring 2008.

Emneord: youth, media appropriations, empowerment, qualitative audience study, media ethnography, Brazil, Recife
Periode23. maj 2008
BegivenhedstitelCommunicating for Social Impact
ArrangørInternational Communication Association (ICA)
PlaceringMontreal, Canada