Young people, social media, and political participation. the limits of discursive (in)civility in the kenyan context

Martin N. Ndlela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The growing availability of low-cost smartphone devices and the affordable rates of data connectivity mean that more and more young people in Africa have access to mobile telephones. With these visible changes, there is an optimistic view that social media will play a central role in addressing a range of social issues by liberating, empowering, and enabling participation and engagement in political issues. However, the influence of social media on political engagement is determined by the discursive opportunity structures afforded by the context. This chapter examines the young people’s participation in the political digital public sphere in the Kenyan context. It argues that the political and cultural opportunity structures in Kenya create their own set of unequal participatory mechanisms that perpetuate a digital divide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 2
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Opportunities
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages77-94
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030326821
ISBN (Print)9783030326814
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Digital public sphere
  • Discursive civility
  • Informal social control
  • Political participation
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Ndlela, M. N. (2020). Young people, social media, and political participation. the limits of discursive (in)civility in the kenyan context. In Social Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 2: Challenges and Opportunities (pp. 77-94). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32682-1_5