#Votebecause: Youth mobilisation for the referendum on British membership of the European Union

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Young people have become increasingly disenchanted with electoral politics. This is particularly true in the United Kingdom, where the proportion of 18 to 24 year olds voting in general elections fell from over 60 percent in 1992 to an average of 40 percent over the last four polls. On the other hand, we know that many young people are interested in ‘politics’ in a broader sense, and participate in democracy through a wide spectrum of political acts. However, few studies investigate the individual motivations and thresholds for youth participation. This article provides an ethnographic account of ‘#Votebecause’, an offline and online initiative to encourage undergraduate students to vote in the 2016 referendum on British membership of the European Union. The findings identify the importance of social networks, appropriate spaces for communication and deliberation, prior group membership, and internal efficacy for engaging young. people in the campaign.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4017-4034
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number11
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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