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The Centre for Sociology of Democracy studies democracy in modern societies. Our projects deal with democracy from different perspectives and with different methods.

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Social media platforms as a tool for Elokapina’s activism

Activists participating in the environmental movement Elokapina see the sharing of images and videos in social media as a tool to tell people about daily protest activities, challenge the perceptions that people have of demonstrators and reach a wider audience for their message than would be possible through physical demonstrations. However, the personal nature of social media may also give rise to feelings of inadequacy and expose activists to strong negative attention.

Citizens in Training: How institutional youth participation produces bystanders and active citizens in Finland

In his dissertation Georg Boldt identified four individual level outcomes of youth participation.

Planeetan kokoinen arki

Planeetan kokoinen arki auttaa ymmärtämään, miten moninaisilla tavoilla jokapäiväinen elämä, sitä määrittävä politiikka sekä taustalla vaikuttavat ajattelutavat kytkeytyvät ympäristökriiseihin.

Making a deal with the devil? Portuguese and Finnish activists’ everyday negotiations on the value of social media

In their article, Carla Malafaia and Taina Meriluoto explore how young activists in Portugal and Finland negotiate the value of social media in their practices.

Grievable images – the war in Ukraine in visual social media

The war in Ukraine and its refugees have evoked a wave of compassion among Europeans, to an extent that has not been seen with people fleeing the war in Syria, for instance. An overview of social media content illustrating the war helps us understand how the visualisation of the war influences people’s perceptions and attitudes towards Ukrainians. By emphasising the Europeanness of Ukraine, the threat posed by Russia and the clear moral set-up of the war, the images bring Ukrainian fates closer and make them grievable.

A genealogy of democratic participation: the collective and the individual in postmaterial capitalism

In his article, Georg Boldt examines the genealogy of democratic participation.

Everyday, local, public: in search of young people’s understanding of democracy

In their article, Georg Boldt and Veikko Eranti look at a particular channel for youth participation and democracy education,
meant to provide avenue for young people to present their ideas for the development of their
surrounding society.

Topic modeling for frame analysis: A study of media debates on climate change in India and USA

In their article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Anna Kukkonen examine media debates on climate change in India and the United States.

Going Overboard: How Ironic Group Style Becomes Political on an Anonymous Imageboard

A mixed-methods study by Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Sam Hardwick investigates politics on Overboard, a Finnish imageboard.

Social Media and the Emergence, Establishment and Transformation of the Right-Wing Populist Finns Party

In his article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila assesses the significance of social media for the Finns Party and the related anti-immigration movement from 2007 to the present day, in light of theories on the relationship of populism and social media.

Visual politicization and youth challenges to an unequal public sphere: conceptual and methodological perspectives

By discussing current youth's democratic practices and introducing the concept of visual politicization, Eeva Luhtakallio, Taina Meriluoto and Carla Malafaia argue for a reconsideration of what we understand as political action and propose new methodological tools for analyzing it.

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The public sphere of today’s youth is increasingly dominated by visual content, as their political practices are becoming firmly anchored in repertoires of visual participation. However, research on political participation has thus far concentrated more on textual and verbal modes of argumentation.

In this chapter, Luhtakallio, Meriluoto and Malafaia propose the concept of visual politicization to describe and make sense of the visual forms of politicization the youth increasingly engage in. Additionally, to understand how political engagement is changing, the authors introduce two innovative methodological approaches that are designed to capture visual politicization. The method of snap-along ethnography and supervised machine learning together enable a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the role and content of the youth’s visual participation as well as a representative macro-level picturing of it.

This chapter can be found from The Handbook on Youth Activism, edited by Jerusha Conner. The book can be purchased for example from here.

Minja