"Feel That You Are Doing Something": Participatory Culture Civics
Keywords:Youth, politics, civic engagement, popular culture, fan communities, new media
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.
How to Cite
Conjunctions - Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation adhere to creative commons. You are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for non-commercial use. However, you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Furthermore, you must not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Waiver: Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the author.