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Mobilizing the Young: The Role of Social Networks

  • Cameron D. Anderson (a1) and Laura B. Stephenson (a1)

Disaffection of youth from politics is a well-documented phenomenon in many countries. In this article, we consider whether the social networks of young people have the same influence on political engagement as they have been found to have for older adults. We use a single dataset to test the effects of discussion and disagreement on the political engagement of young people (30 and under) and older adults. We find that social network discussion has a stronger effect on the engagement of young people but that disagreement has no clear differential effect.

La désaffection des jeunes envers la politique est un phénomène bien documenté dans de nombreux pays. Dans le présent article, nous examinons si les réseaux sociaux des jeunes exercent sur l'engagement politique la même influence qui a été observée chez les adultes plus âgés. Nous utilisons un seul ensemble de données pour tester les effets de la discussion et du désaccord sur l'engagement politique des jeunes (30 ans et moins) et des adultes âgés. Nous constatons que la discussion sur les réseaux sociaux a un effet plus marqué sur l'engagement des jeunes, mais que le désaccord n'a pas d'effet différentiel évident.

Corresponding author
Department of Political Science, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London ON, email:
Department of Political Science, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London ON N6A 5C2, email:
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Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique
  • ISSN: 0008-4239
  • EISSN: 1744-9324
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