Analyzing youth digital participation: Aims, actors, contexts and intensities

Ioana Literat*, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Melissa Brough, Alicia Blum-Ross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Participation is often used as a blanket term that is uncritically celebrated; this is particularly true in the case of youth digital participation. In this article, we propose a youth-focused analytical framework, applicable to a wide variety of youth digital participation projects, which can help facilitate a more nuanced understanding of these participatory practices. This framework analyzes the aims envisioned for youth participation, the actors and contexts of these activities, and the variable levels of participatory intensity, in order to more accurately assess the forms and outcomes of youth digital participation. We demonstrate the value of this framework by applying it to two contemporary cases of digital youth participation: an informal online community (Nerdfighters) and a formalized educational initiative (CyberPatriot). Such analyses facilitate normative assessments of youth digital participation, which enable us to better assess what participation is good for, and for whom.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalInformation Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Published with license by Taylor & Francis. © 2018, © Ioana Literat, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Melissa Brough, and Alicia Blum-Ross.


  • digital media
  • digital participation
  • formal and informal education
  • participatory culture
  • youth


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