Connected political consumers: transforming personalized politics among youth into broader repertoires of action

Melissa R. Gotlieb, Kjerstin Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explores political consumerism motivations in an effort to understand the complex ways in which this lifestyle practice fits into the broader participation repertoires of young citizens. We begin by outlining the psychological motivations for political consumerism, and theorize how they might orient political consumers toward (and away from) online expressive, political, and civic participation. In particular, we examine how the desire to gratify distinct psychological needs shapes navigation of the digital media environment in search of information and connection, and how this, in turn, shapes participation. Results of a national survey of young adults show that value-expressive, social-identification, and social-approval motivations for green living relate differently to participation, and that online community embeddedness mediates these relationships. The findings suggest that connecting to likeminded others via digitally-enabled communities can transform individual concerns into collective concerns, and extend participation from the private spheres of everyday life into the public sphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-1061
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2017

Keywords

  • Political consumerism
  • motivations
  • online community
  • political participation
  • youth civic engagement

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