Ruoshan Gu | Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Internet and Youth Civic Education in Contemporary American Society: The Changing Citizenship and Civic Life Online

Ruoshan Gu, M.A. in Communication and Media Studies

The aim of this thesis is to raise the attention towards internet and civic education in contemporary American society, with a focus on the various crucial social elements which could effectively promote civic education through the world of internet.

The thesis proposes a theoretical framework which includes democracy and democratic citizenship theories in addition to civic education theory. Within this framework, a discussion on evaluating the civic education in schools and the internet environment for such education is done. Finally a case study is demonstrated to the question of how schools could do to contribute to better civic education. The main findings here are that most schools lack proper civic education for their students through the traditional schooling methods; plus, they were not aware of promoting civic education through the internet in the wake of the emergence and influence of social media and online communities. It is also found that social media and online communities are not overly aware to make efforts in creating youth-friendly civic websites for civic education.

The thesis concludes that the support of schools and internet in modern social context are important for preparing good and democratic citizens. It needs the positive action from schools and heavy attention from media to better promote civic education in the world of internet.

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