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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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Two Paradigms of Civic Information

Two Paradigms of Civic Information

(p.30) 2 Two Paradigms of Civic Information
The Civic Organization and the Digital Citizen

Chris Wells

Oxford University Press

This chapter builds on the foundation offered by Chapter 1 to offer a theoretical account of changes underway in many citizens’ experiences and expectations of civic information. To do so it theorizes two civic information styles, one corresponding to mid-twentieth-century, modern civic life, and one characterizing the experience of more recent, younger, and digital generations. Terming the former style dutiful and the latter actualizing, the chapter draws on social theory on the changing bases of civic identity and studies of digital media and the values with which they are imbued to outline key preferences and forms of communicative exchange more aligned with each civic information style. While not implying that citizens or communications can be neatly sorted into one civic information style or the other, this framework serves to illustrate a trajectory of communication change ongoing within society.

Keywords:   civic identity, digital media, cyberculture, actualizing, dutiful

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