Digital generation: civil mobilization and political protest among Russian youth




digitalization, digital citizen, digital citizenship, the political effects of digital communications, the digital generation, political protest, youth protest potential


The article presents the analysis of the "digital citizenship concept" basic interpretations. The key research question: what is primarily associated with the high level of digital generation protest potential, is it an internal characteristic of the culture of digital citizenship carriers or rather a behavioral strategy, actualized by the social media effects mobilization? Answering the question, the authors implemented an applied research, using the method of mass survey and online questionnaire procedure. The field stage of the study was held in July-September 2019. the sample consisted of 1000 respondents, representative by gender, age (according to statistical data on the representation of the Russian youth groups of 15-19 years, 20-24 years and 25-29 years) and territorial affiliation (the sample reproduced the ratio of the number of young people in all Federal districts of the Russian Federation). The study analyzed the main civil and political practices demanded by young Russian users in online and offline environments, the scale of protest mobilization in social networks, the repertoire of protest messages, protest attitudes of digital citizens. Typology of online survey database defined four clusters of youth differs by their protest potential levels: "spectators", "involved", "activists», «leaders". In turn, the procedure of multidimensional scaling allowed fixing the differentiation of value profiles and lifestyles of carriers of different types of protest potential. The key conclusion of the study is that the greatest potential of protest activity is shown not by typical representatives of the digital generation, but by those whose value choices and strategies of digital citizenship rather deviate from the common ones.

Acknowledgement. We would like to thank from our hearts the authors of the special issue "Digitalization: Economy, Politics, Civil Society" - thanks a lot for new ideas, fresh approaches, original conclusions, and inspiration. This special issue would not have taken place without the fantastic team of VCIOM, and the energy and diligence of the Executive Editor Anna Kuleshova. We would like to thank Dmitriy Chizhov for the idea of this special issue. Many thanks to our colleagues Roman Pyrma, Anna Dombrovskaya, Artur Azarov, Alexey Sinyakov, Dmitriy Karzubov, Liliya Ryazanova for the help in gathering, processing and analyzing the materials of the study. The study conducted with a financial support of RFBR and EISR within the project № 19-011-31-291 “Russian youth “digital citizenship” culture: actors, formation technologies, socio-political effects”.

Author Biographies

Elena V. Brodovskaya, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation

  • Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia
    • Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Professor of the Department of Political Science and Mass Communications
  • World Internet Project, Moscow, Russia
    • Leader of the Russian National Team

Tong-Yi Huang, Национальный университет Чжэнчжи

  • National Cheng-chi University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Doctor of Political Science, Professor of the Department of Public Administration, Associate Dean of College of Social Sciences
  • Taiwan E-Governance Research Center, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Deputy Director
  • World Internet Project, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Leader of the Taiwan National Team






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