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By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism

By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism

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The participatory politics and civic engagement of youth in the digital age

There is a widespread perception that the foundations of American democracy are dysfunctional, public trust in core institutions is eroding, and little is likely to emerge from traditional politics that will shift those conditions. Youth are often seen as emblematic of this crisis—frequently represented as uninterested in political life, ill-informed about current-affairs, and unwilling to register and vote.

By Any Media Necessary offers a profoundly different picture of contemporary American youth. Young men and women are tapping into the potential of new forms of communication such as social media platforms, spreadable videos and memes, remixing the language of popular culture, and seeking to bring about political change—by any media necessary. In a series of case studies covering a diverse range of organizations, networks, and movements involving young people in the political process—from the Harry Potter Alliance which fights for human rights in the name of the popular fantasy franchise to immigration rights advocates using superheroes to dramatize their struggles—By Any Media Necessary examines the civic imagination at work. Before the world can change, people need the ability to imagine what alternatives might look like and identify paths by which change can be achieved. Exploring new forms of political activities and identities emerging from the practice of participatory culture, By Any Media Necessary reveals how these shifts in communication have unleashed a new political dynamism in American youth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479899982
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 05/03/2016
Series: Connected Youth and Digital Futures , #3
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Henry Jenkins (Author)
Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education at the University of Southern California. He is the author or editor of 20 books including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Society, and By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activists. He blogs at and co-hosts the podcast How Do You Like It So Far?

Sangita Shresthova (Author)
Sangita Shresthova is the Director of Research of Civic Paths@USC. Her previous books include By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism (with Henry Jenkins et al.) and Is it All About Hips?: Around the World With Bollywood Dance.

Liana Gamber-Thompson (Author)
Liana Gamber-Thompson is a Program Associate at the National Writing Project and the Community Manager for Connected Learning TV.

Neta Kligler-Vilenchik (Author)
Neta Kligler-Vilenchik is Assistant Professor of Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Arely Zimmerman (Author)
Arely M. Zimmerman is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills College in Oakland, California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

1 Youth Voice, Media, and Political Engagement: Introducing the Core Concepts Henry Jenkins 1

2 "Watch 30 Minute Video on Internet, Become Social Activist"? Kony 2012, Invisible Children, and the Paradoxes of Participatory Politics Sangita Shresthova 61

3 "Decreasing World Suck": Harnessing Popular Culture for Fan Activism Neta Kligler-Vilenchik 102

4 Between Storytelling and Surveillance: The Precarious Public of American Muslim Youth Sangita Shresthova 149

5 DREAMing Citizenship: Undocumented Youth, Corning Out, and Pathways to Participation Liana Gamber-Thompson Arely M. Zimmerman 186

6 Bypassing the Ballot Box: How Libertarian Youth Are Reimagining the Political Liana Gamber-Thompson 219

7 "It's Called Giving a Shit!": What Counts as "Politics"? Henry Jenkins Sangita Shresthova 253

Afterword: Necessary Learning Elisabeth Soep 290

Notes 309

Bibliography 311

Index 335

About the Authors 347

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