This week's topic is "The Networked Young Citizen: Social Media and Political Engagement in the Digital Age" led by Professor Michael Xenos.
Social media has been a familiar part of most people’s everyday lives for some time. Though researchers have been excited about these developments for years, we have only recently started to develop a clear understanding of how social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other similar tools affect fundamental communication processes, particularly those that deal with politics. While digital media have failed to revolutionize politics in the way that many early celebrants of the internet predicted, the web in general and social media specifically have undeniably changed politics and how we experience political processes. In this talk I synthesize the fundamental questions and key research findings surrounding social media and politics, with a focus on younger users for whom social media is increasingly serving as the entry-point to the political world.