University of PortsmouthIs Social Media Gaming Our Politics?

Is Social Media Gaming Our Politics?

Dr James Dennis is a Senior Lecturer in Political Communication and Journalism at the University. During England’s summer of unrest in 2011 – when thousands rioted on the streets – James was doing his PhD.

"I was the first in my family to go to university. I come from one of the areas of lowest social mobility in the UK," he says.

"I think for a lot of people from low social mobility backgrounds, when you get to university you have the opportunity to find the issues and subjects that drive you. For me that was social media and politics, and youth engagement, and the way in which it enables people to connect on very specific issues.

"[During] the student protests in London, you had occupations in universities around the country. I saw people very quickly using digital tools to mobilise physically and have real impact – whether it’s on university-level decisions at a campus, or protesting against changes to tuition fees. That captured my interest and led me down this path of research."

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