In the project students collected political participation offers and shared the information on the project platform.

participation, politics, democracy

The project overview

Area of Science: Social Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: without PC/Mobile, with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Smartphone and/or PC with internet
Activities of citizen scientists: sharing ideas, observing, collecting
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.03.2017 - 31.12.2018
Time to join in: 01.05.2017 - 30.11.2017
Expenditure of time: online registration 10 min; discussion before and after data collection: depending on individual engagement; collecting participation offers: 10 min for categorisation and description of a single observation

Project objective

In the project teenagers collected political participation offers in their environment and categorized and evaluated these offers via an online coding tool. The goal of the project was 1) to involve students in political thinking and action and 2) to collect data about political participation offers which are identifiable by and reachable for adolescents.

The participating students were asked to screen their environment for political participation offers and report these offers by categorizing them through an online coding tool. The online coding tool was basically a subpage of the mobile website on which participants could categorize and upload pictures of their observed participation offers. Interested school classes (teachers or class representatives) could sign up for participation and received their account information through which each student could log into the website and participate. Beside the categorization of the collected data, students provided feedback on the data via an online discussion forum.

The collected data has been used for scientific analysis and publications, but will also provide guidance and information to the broader public.

Results:  Based on the contributions posted, it can be clearly seen that young people are more likely to take part in political participation offers provided by “alternative” actors (e.g. NGOs, citizens, etc.). In contrast, they are less aware of traditional political actors (such as parties, politicians) in their environment. Furthermore, the participation offers mostly dealt with topics such as the environment or animal rights. Moreover, it emerged that young people perceive political participation offerings from alternative actors as more important and are more likely to identify with the initiators of these offers. These results suggest that traditional political actors struggle to reach adolescents in their normal environment.

Participating and supporting institutions


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