"Feel That You Are Doing Something": Participatory Culture Civics

  • Neta Kligler-Vilenchik Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California 3502 Watt Way Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • Sangita Shresthova Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California 3502 Watt Way Los Angeles, CA 90089
Keywords: Youth, politics, civic engagement, popular culture, fan communities, new media

Abstract

Young people’s civic engagement through online communities and peer networks has received increased at- tention in recent years. This paper examines groups rooted within participatory cultures, which mobilize their participants toward explicit civic goals. We draw on our research of Invisible Children and the Harry Potter Alliance—two media-centric, youth-oriented, participatory organizations—to identify their distinctive prac- tices. Building on our analysis, we propose that both organizations engage in “Participatory Culture Civics” (PCC) as they support organized collective action towards civic goals, while building on the affordances of participatory culture. We describe three innovative PCC practices employed by these groups: Build Communities, Tell Stories, and Produce Media. The organizations’ ability to combine civic goals with the pleasures of participatory culture allows them to successfully engage young people. However, both organizations struggle to balance between the creative and community-based tenets of participatory culture, and the focused, product-driven goals of a civic engagement organization.

Author Biographies

Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California 3502 Watt Way Los Angeles, CA 90089

Doctoral Candidate

Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California 3502 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Sangita Shresthova, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California 3502 Watt Way Los Angeles, CA 90089
Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism University of Southern California 3502 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Published
2014-11-09
How to Cite
Kligler-Vilenchik, N., & Shresthova, S. (2014). "Feel That You Are Doing Something": Participatory Culture Civics. Conjunctions. Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.7146/tjcp.v1i1.18604
Section
Peer Reviewed Research Articles: Theme Section