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IP 10 (Phase II): Mediatization of political attitudes: Becoming a democratic citizen in a multi-media environment

It is often assumed that the media play a key role in shaping political attitudes. However, our knowledge of the media's role in the political socialization process is remarkably thin. This project addresses the fundamental question of how young people develop into democratic citizens in a society influenced by entertainment-oriented media and mediatized politics. How do they develop democratic attitudes and values and civic engagement? In particular, it focuses on the current changes in the political, media and family environment and their consequences for young peoples' participation in democracy:

  • Established agents of political socialization, like family, school and parties, have been supplemented by new agencies, like anti-globalization or environmental movements, or consumer political movements, which are less stable, more issue-oriented and more dependent on communication-based networks.
  • The role of the traditional mass media, like newspapers and television as providers of political information and stimulants of political participation, has changed. Television has become more infotainment-oriented and free newspapers and online news have displaced daily newspapers and television newscasts.
  • Changing society under the influence of globalization, individualization and mediatization.
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Project leaders:
Prof. Heinz Bonfadelli, University of Zurich
Prof. Claes de Vreese, University of Amsterdam
Prof. Frank Esser, University of Zurich

Ph.D. students:
Ruth Kunz, University of Zurich
Judith Möller, University of Amsterdam