The presence of youth and political movements in our society is a growing and powerful number, with the ability to cast speculation, support and turmoil both on and within public and political spheres.
So where has this sudden urge and rise with the youth demographics for political activism come from? We have seen the dramatic drop of parental and elder influence on youth over the last 4 decades, with current youth largely independent and acted in a similar way. It is for this reason that we see rises in individual, youth-related activism, from Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring and even to the latest protest on national television of university students against a prominent national politician on the ABC.
In week 9 of BCM112, “We Are The 99%”, it states:
•Conditions of insecurity and individualisation lead to transient and self-expressive participatory practices.
•Young people more focused on quality of life issues.
•This has led to new, individualised forms of activism: computer hacking, culture jamming, brand boycotts and recycling.
•Youth music subcultures operate as political communities.
(Youth As ‘Self-Actualising’ Citizens, Slide 6)
This highlights the role and develops of youth political activism,with influences from music and pop-culture, as we have seen the convergency of political activism from pamphlets and underground newspapers to today’s social networking websites and music.
Jenkins wrote in his work The New Political Commons:
“By the time they leave high school, young people’s political identities are surprisingly fixed. Those whose parents are politically involved, who encoun- ter civics teachers who bring current events into the classroom, who are encouraged to volunteer, and who par- ticipate in extracurricular activities are much more likely to engage in future political and civic activities than those who lack these experiences. (Page 11, 2012)”
Therefore, it is no surprise, especially with convergent practices within media forms, that today’s youth is a rising political voice for activism. Politics is becoming more personal, legislation and referendums have a more clear role in the youth of today, and by utilising convergency practices such as social media, websites, blogs and student funded radio and television shows, they have a more prominent and impactful role in their world.
Stay Classy UOW,
Moore, C 2014 “BCM112 2014 W9 We Are The 99%”, Prezi presentation in BCM112 Lecture Nine at University of Wollongong, on 6th May 2014
Jenkins, H 2012, “Clicktivism, The New Political Commons”, Options Politiques, November 2012, accessed 10th May 2014