Youth and citizenship in the digital age: A view from Egypt

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Youth are coming of age in a digital era and learning and exercising citizenship in fundamentally different ways compared to previous generations. Around the globe, a monumental generational rupture is taking place that is being facilitated-not driven in some inevitable and teleological process-by new media and communication technologies. The bulk of research and theorizing on generations in the digital age has come out of North America and Europe; but to fully understand the rise of an active generation requires a more inclusive global lens, one that reaches to societies where high proportions of educated youth live under conditions of political repression and economic exclusion. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), characterized by authoritarian regimes, surging youth populations, and escalating rates of both youth connectivity and unemployment, provides an ideal vantage point to understand generations and power in the digital age. Building toward this larger perspective, this article probes how Egyptian youth have been learning citizenship, forming a generational consciousness, and actively engaging in politics in the digital age. Author Linda Herrera asks how members of this generation who have been able to trigger revolt might collectively shape the kind of sustained democratic societies to which they aspire. This inquiry is informed theoretically by the sociology of generations and methodologically by biographical research with Egyptian youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-352
Number of pages20
JournalHarvard Educational Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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