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By Any Media Necessary: Mapping Youth and Participatory Politics
Over the past few decades, we’ve seen dramatic increases in grassroots access to the means of cultural production and circulation and improvements to the infrastructure required for collective action (Jenkins, Ford, and Green, 2013). This participatory turn in culture has been mirrored by shifts in the ways citizens are collectively and individually exerting power within the political process. Young men and women who learned how to use their cameras recording skateboarding videos, to mashup images to make cute cat pictures, to edit making fan videos, are now turning their skills towards political speech and grassroots mobilization. These “creative activists” are often speaking to each other through images borrowed from commercial entertainment but remixed to communicate their own messages; they are often deploying social media tools and platforms, sometimes in ways that challenge corporate interests; and they are forging communities through acts of media circulation. The conclusion of Henry Jenkins’s 2006 book, Convergence Culture, proposed that a networked society would soon be applying what they learned through play within participatory culture towards more purposeful realms, such as education, religion, and politics. The "By Any Media Necessary" book explores new forms of political activities and identities that have emerged from the practices of participatory culture and are impacting how American youth think of their civic identities.
Building on (and contributing to) the MacArthur Foundations Youth and Participatory Politics Network's concept of participatory politics, our team, based at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California, has been tracking a range of different organizations and networks that have been effective at getting young people involved in civic and political activities through their deft use of networked political practices and participatory culture frameworks.This online experience supports and expands on the book and is organized along the following paths, please choose one depending on the experience you are looking for:Book Companion - This path is a companion to the "ByAny Media Necessary" book and provides readers with opportunities to further explore ideas and examples it contains.Themes - This path highlights key conceptual themes that emerged through our research and other work.Featured Campaigns- This path introduces campaigns that we encountered through our work.Media Type - Do you want to learn what media to use for what purposes? Follow this path to encounter media type specific examples.Genres - Are you interested in how comedy intersects with civic action? Are you looking for examples that would inspire your civically oriented music video? Then this genre specific path is for you.Activities - Are you an educator or community organizer looking for ideas of what you can do to help scaffold innovative participatory civic practices? This path navigates curated activities from other groups and organizations.Media Library - Browse through the vast collection of media examples curated by the MAPP project.Visualization of Paths