Master Thesis Project

The following Master thesis project was conducted in the final semester of my Master studies.

Title: The impact of culture on civic participation in the digital era: the case of the European Cultural Foundation: The link between civic participation, cultural production, and consumption

Abstract:

Politics and, cultural production and consumption activities are among the essential dimensions of the social and political life. Firstly, they may shape and be shaped by different social infrastructures. Secondly, they may define the allocation of power within the society. Cultural production and consumption activities should not only be regarded as a form of entertainment but also their impact on politics. Cultural production and consumption practices may stimulate civic participation. That is to say, they may function as a vehicle of citizens’ encouragement to voice their opinions through artistic manifestations. The establishment of online communities may facilitate the gathering and networking of citizens interested in civic participation and, cultural production and consumption practices. Non-governmental/ non-for-profit organizations dealing with the promotion of civic participation through cultural production and consumption manifestations may facilitate the access to a wider audience to the cultural public sphere. The study was focused on the case of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF). Specifically, the data collection procedure was conducted mainly on the online community of the ECF Labs, a platform established by the ECF. The primary goal of the platform is to gather citizens keen on politics and cultural production. Among the main findings was that cultural production and consumption activities may mobilize citizens to participate in the political and social life. However, if there is an absence of the necessary infrastructures cultural production and consumption activities may have no impact on civic participation.

Keywords: cultural production and consumption, internet platforms, cultural public sphere, ECF.

The Master thesis is available HERE

Social Networks and Youth

social media and youthSocial networks became an important dimension of our lives, especially if we refer to young people who could be characterized as “digital natives”. Generally speaking, social networks have a strong impact on the way we communicate and interact with each other; consequently they may play a key role in the thematic areas of education, social inclusion, active youth participation, information and employment. As a result, the users of social networks should develop a responsible attitude in the digital arena based on the values of respect, human rights and privacy.

It is more than obvious that the rational use of social networks provides young people a unique opportunity to express their opinions and also exchange views with people from all over the world. As a result, the voice of young people is raised even more which leads to the empowerment of youth organizations. On the other hand, the young people should be careful regarding the content they post, i.e. they should not reveal some details concerning their private lives or make comments that may offense someone.

According to some researches, nowadays employers tend to shape the profile of their future employee by searching him/her on facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. Furthermore, some HR professionals use linkedin even for the recruitment process. As a result, young people should be focused on which kind of information they reveal and also on what they post. It is said that some people got fired and some other did not get a certain job because of their “digital identity”. On the other hand, some people got the “job of their dreams” or a promotion due to the fact they created a professional profile in various social networks and also because they participated in discussions and groups.

To sum up, the rational use of social networks may improve the lives of young people in many areas. However, young people, youth workers, educators and other relevant stakeholders should be educated and get informed on the emerging opportunities and challenges of these social networks.

Maria Strati
YEU Journalist

Source: YEU INTERNATIONAL, NEWSMAIL MARCH