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The Civic Organization and the Digital CitizenCommunicating Engagement in a Networked Age$
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Chris Wells

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190203610

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190203610.001.0001

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Communicating Civic Life to Digital Citizens

(p.162) 6 Conclusion
The Civic Organization and the Digital Citizen

Chris Wells

Oxford University Press

The book’s final chapter builds on its empirical findings to ask: how do we reconcile a civic-political system fundamentally rooted in institutional bureaucracy with a society whose citizens increasingly display the characteristics and preferences of networked individualism? Many recent accounts have tended to valorize apparently spontaneous, “leaderless” movements without always accounting for the important aspect of organizing performed by organizations; this leads to the further question of how young citizens can both be inspired by autonomous engagement opportunities but also take part of those opportunities alongside organizational structures that can offer inputs into the political decision-making process. The chapter also describes the book’s contribution to several literatures, and especially its development of the communication dynamics in contemporary engagement.

Keywords:   social movements, Occupy Wall Street, indignados, Arab spring, civic organizations

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