The Political Knowledge,     Information Behaviour and Civic Participation of Young PeopleLauren Smith, PhD Research Stude...
Background●   University of Leeds: BA (Hons) English Lang and Lit●   University of Sheffield: MA Librarianship●   Work in ...
Democratic /      InformationPolitical Theory     Science
Context●   Political disengagement/disenchantment:    Lack of participation and interest, anti-politics, distrust, hostili...
“Democracy is the worst possible    form of government except –all the others that have been tried”         - Winston Chur...
Democratic Deficit●   Some members more powerful than others●   Some members participate more effectively than others●   S...
Sources and Processes of           Political Engagement  Access to   politicalinformation                 More            ...
Why Young People?●   Easily identifiable sample●   Next generation of voters●   Possible reduction in voting age●   Genera...
Gaps in Research●   Lack of understanding about relationships and    causalities between access to information, levels of ...
Research QuestionsLiteracies1. Which information sources do young people use when looking   for information in order to pa...
Information and Behaviour7. How does online information impact knowledge gain   differently to print media?8. Are there an...
Theoretical Approach?●   An approach that seeks to explain why political    knowledge and effective citizenship can have a...
Agonistic Pluralism   Chantal Mouffe                                                     Positive aspects of   William Con...
Critical Literacy                                                                           Need for citizens to understan...
Relevance to                Information Science•   Basic idea that more access to/better use of    information is benefici...
•   Development of Information Literacy: would it benefit    from going beyond context of school environment    and taking...
Examples of Relevance•   Does the way young people use digital tools for online    political engagement result in more/bet...
First Thoughts on MethodologyQualitative over quantitative:•   Interested in lived experiences and reasons for behaviour• ...
Information BehaviourInformation         Unintentional  seeking            encounters  Passive                   Active ex...
Possible Methods●   Surveys/questionnaires of political knowledge    (already exist in other academic disciplines)●   Inte...
Aims & Objectives: Long Term●   Complete PhD●   Publish at least one article from research●   Contribute to understanding ...
Aims & Objectives: Medium Term●   Complete literature review●   Develop methodology●   Present research at conferences    ...
Aims & Objectives: Short Term•   Formulate / narrow research questions•   Draft introductory chapter•   Structure and begi...
References•   Andersen, B., Heath, A. & Sinnott, R. (2001). Political Knowledge and Electoral    Choices. CREST Working Pa...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

iLab Presentation 26 March 2012

3,266

Published on

First presentation about my PhD research - couple of months in, too many questions, not much of an idea about methodology but plenty of theory to be going at.

Published in: News & Politics
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
3,266
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

iLab Presentation 26 March 2012

  1. 1. The Political Knowledge, Information Behaviour and Civic Participation of Young PeopleLauren Smith, PhD Research Student Computer and Information Sciences iLab, 26 March 2012
  2. 2. Background● University of Leeds: BA (Hons) English Lang and Lit● University of Sheffield: MA Librarianship● Work in public and academic libraries● Voices for the Library / Save Doncaster Libraries
  3. 3. Democratic / InformationPolitical Theory Science
  4. 4. Context● Political disengagement/disenchantment: Lack of participation and interest, anti-politics, distrust, hostility● Political knowledge: Election outcomes could be different if electorate was well informed about party platforms (Andersen et al., 2001)● Changing participation: Move from traditional to non-traditional forms of participation● Exposure to political information: Wide variety of forms of information and behaviour● Conceptualisation: What can/should be considered ‘political’ issues / topics● Literacies: Concern about information/civic/critical literacy
  5. 5. “Democracy is the worst possible form of government except –all the others that have been tried” - Winston Churchill
  6. 6. Democratic Deficit● Some members more powerful than others● Some members participate more effectively than others● Some will not recognise authority of decisions made by demos● Decisions made do not reflect the will of the demos as a body of equals● Somerville (2011)
  7. 7. Sources and Processes of Political Engagement Access to politicalinformation More political knowledge Institutions providing Family political information Greater faith in democratic system Peer group Media Increased likelihood of participation
  8. 8. Why Young People?● Easily identifiable sample● Next generation of voters● Possible reduction in voting age● Generational differences in political behaviour● Marginalised groups within demographic group (Ginwright et al., 2006 in Leckie et al., 2010)● Under-researched area in information behaviour
  9. 9. Gaps in Research● Lack of understanding about relationships and causalities between access to information, levels of knowledge and efficacy of participation● Lack of Information Science research about political information and young peoples political engagement● Some general understanding about why young people are disengaged but not how it relates to knowledge, information seeking and participation● Lack of understanding about whether endeavours to engage and inform young people actually make their participation more effective
  10. 10. Research QuestionsLiteracies1. Which information sources do young people use when looking for information in order to participate in the political process?2. How do young people conceptualise political information?3. Are young people aware of any gaps in their political knowledge?4. What are young peoples levels of critical literacy?5. How does critical literacy impact political attitudes, knowledge and behaviour?6. Does the quality of the information used by peer groups have an influence over the political accuracy / efficacy of the peer group and individuals within it?
  11. 11. Information and Behaviour7. How does online information impact knowledge gain differently to print media?8. Are there any differences in the information behaviour of young people who have different levels of political interest and/or political knowledge?9. How do young people make sense of political information and what impact does it have on their attitudes and political behaviour?10. Does more knowledge (as opposed to more access to information) result in higher levels of political engagement and/or participation?11. Do young people who find information through informal channels have less understanding and ability to effectively participate about political issues than those who use formal channels?
  12. 12. Theoretical Approach?● An approach that seeks to explain why political knowledge and effective citizenship can have an important impact on democratic societies● Something that addresses the problems with current systems and ‘crisis of liberal democracy’ – radical democracy● “Need to ensure quality and inclusiveness of democratic processes in the multiple spheres of social life” Kapoor (2002)● Not seeking to advocate for radical democracy but use some theoretical ideas as way to understand issues
  13. 13. Agonistic Pluralism Chantal Mouffe Positive aspects of William Connolly Poststructuralism conflict James TullyEmphasis on agonistic Need for citizens to discuss multiple points “legitimate conflicts” pluralism for more of view and better between different groupssuccessful democratic understand different in society societies views and needs
  14. 14. Critical Literacy Need for citizens to understand Henry Giroux Radical Democracy political systems, strengths and weaknesses, issues etc. “...literacy is associated with the "learning to read and write as transmission and mastery of a part of the process of becoming Education for a radical unitary Western tradition based conscious of ones experiencedemocracy - Critical of literacy on the virtues of hard work, as historically constructed within as function closely tied to job industry, respect for family, specific power relations" market institutional authority, and an Anderson and Irvine in Shor unquestioning respect for the (1999) nation.” (Giroux, 1988) Border Pedagogy
  15. 15. Relevance to Information Science• Basic idea that more access to/better use of information is beneficial to citizens, democratic system and society regardless of democratic/political theory• “An intellectually viable LIS relationship to democracy simply must engage democratic theory at a level deeper than the aposiopetic situation currently in place.” Buschman (2007)
  16. 16. • Development of Information Literacy: would it benefit from going beyond context of school environment and taking more critical approach?• “Girouxs notion of border pedagogy further sets out a new paradigm of information professionalism and multiple information literacies for the new information age in LIS research.”• “...information professionalism is not only about delivering a service, it is about encouraging individuals to acquire the critical literacy skills to understand their lives more effectively.” (Eryaman in Leckie et al., 2010)
  17. 17. Examples of Relevance• Does the way young people use digital tools for online political engagement result in more/better democracy? Buschman (2007), p.1492• Have young people experienced any issues when trying to obtain information from formal sources (e.g. libraries?) Are there issues to be raised about organisations that are supposed to be agents of democracy? Eryaman in Leckie et al. (2010), p.139• Are information professionals “encouraging individuals to acquire the critical literacy skills to understand their lives more effectively”? Eryaman in Leckie et al. (2010), p.139
  18. 18. First Thoughts on MethodologyQualitative over quantitative:• Interested in lived experiences and reasons for behaviour• Explore phenomena that has not yet been researched in-depthIn-depth understanding of specific situation:• Looking at a specific group/groups of people, not seeking to generalise
  19. 19. Information BehaviourInformation Unintentional seeking encounters Passive Active exposure avoidance Case (2007)
  20. 20. Possible Methods● Surveys/questionnaires of political knowledge (already exist in other academic disciplines)● Intensive interviews/focus groups● Discourse/content analysis of online discussions● Diaries and experience sampling (information behaviour)
  21. 21. Aims & Objectives: Long Term● Complete PhD● Publish at least one article from research● Contribute to understanding of research area (information behaviour, political behaviour, citizenship)● Help inform library and information / social policy
  22. 22. Aims & Objectives: Medium Term● Complete literature review● Develop methodology● Present research at conferences (poster and/or presentation)
  23. 23. Aims & Objectives: Short Term• Formulate / narrow research questions• Draft introductory chapter• Structure and begin literature review• Identify research participants / sample• Attend relevant training sessions
  24. 24. References• Andersen, B., Heath, A. & Sinnott, R. (2001). Political Knowledge and Electoral Choices. CREST Working Paper.• Buschman, J. (2007). Democratic Theory in Library Information Science: Toward an Emendation. Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 58 (10), pp.1483- 1496• Case, D. O. (2007). Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior. Library and Information Science. [online]. Emerald Group Publishing.• Giroux, H. (1998). Literacy and the Pedagogy of Voice and Political Empowerment. Educational Theory. 38 (1), pp.61-75• Kapoor, I. (2002). Deliberative Democracy or Agonistic Pluralism? The Relevance of the Habermas-Mouffe Debate for Third World Politics. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. 27 (4), pp. 459-487• Leckie, G., Given, L., Buschman, J. (2010). Critical Theory for Library and Information Science. Oxford: Libraries Unlimited.• Somerville, P. (2011). Democracy and Participation. Policy & Politics, 39 (3), pp.417-437

×