politics, youth, everyday experiences
The project overview
Young people’s motivation to become involved with politics and political issues has decreased constantly over the past years. At the same time young people have switched from traditional media sources to new online sources to receive political information. As social networks allow for personalising information feeds, it has become increasingly difficult to investigate how young people are being confronted with political issues and actors throughout their daily lives. Hence, in YAPES young people collected their own data on how, where and through which sources they were confronted with politics and shared this information with the researchers. These young citizen scientists improved their political monitoring skills and collected data that contributed to academic research.
How did citizen scientists participate?
Interested young people were invited to support the research process by participating as citizen scientists, namely voluntary researchers. Using the mobile app Whatsapp participants collected their daily political experiences. Whatever they found politically interesting could be easily photographed, documented and commented. The gathered data gave valuable insights into what issues young people are attracted to and how they want to be addressed by political news and communication. Thus, following the basic idea of citizen science, young people significantly contributed as active observers to scientific data gathering.
What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?
Interim results and other information were posted regularly on the project’s website and on Facebook, where young people were also invited to actively participate in discussions. Furthermore, on the website they can find results of other FacePolitics projects, e.g. group discussions with pupils and an analysis of the Facebook profiles of Austrian politicians. The final results of YAPES were scientifically evaluated and together with the results of the other projects were then discussed in the project blog.
Participating and supporting institutions
- University of Vienna, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communication (project leader)
- Universität Bern, Institut für Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft (project partner)
- Universität Münster, Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft (project partner)
- Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (project funding)