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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Youth, Facebook and politics in South Africa
Author:Bosch, Tanja
Periodical:Journal of African Media Studies (ISSN 1751-7974)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:social media
political action
External link:https://doi.org/10.1386/jams.5.2.119_1
Abstract:Social networking sites, Facebook in particular, are growing in popularity in South Africa. This article explores how Facebook is used by South African youth, with particular reference to their political participation and involvement. Facebook and other new media applications widely used by young people have been seen as a potential vehicle to re-engage youth in political debate. The potential usefulness of such applications for creating networked publics and mobilizing political action was highlighted recently during the Arab Spring; and conversely, Facebook and Twitter have been used (e.g. in the United States) to target potential youth voters. The notion of e-democracy has raised the potential of the Internet to enhance political action and activism. The article draws on a national quantitative survey and Cape Town-based focus groups discussions with South African youth in order to explore the links between Facebook use and political participation. The article argues that youth are engaging with alternative forms of political subactivism that work at the margins of the dominant public sphere. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]