Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Eleven: Social Media and Social Voting in Latino Families: A Strategic Approach to Mobilizing Youth as Information Leaders
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Social Media AND Social Voting IN Latino Families
A Strategic Approach to Mobilizing Youth as Information Leaders
MICHAEL McDEVITT AND SHANNON SINDORF*
A core principle of fairness and equality, “one person, one vote” presumably translates across native and immigrant communities in political enculturation and also across generations in the securing of a participatory ethos. The increasing prominence of young Latino voters in the digital era might nevertheless warrant some rethinking about expressions of American citizenship, something closer to voting on behalf of family and friends lacking the franchise. The presidential campaign of 2012 provided an opportunity to document the capacity of youth to act as information leaders in Latino communities in ways that might enhance political voice despite voting restrictions.
In a traditional conception of political voice (Best & Krueger, 2005), ineligible voters fall silent. Within an information-leader sequence, both youth and parents are heard to the extent that the diffusion and reception of information promote awareness about a policy concern of vital importance in immigrant communities. The individual’s act of voting is foundational in Constitutional theory, of course, but this participatory mode fails to capture what it is about campaign engagement that might resonate with many immigrant families. Voting becomes meaningful to the extent that it reflects a relational orientation that recognizes ← 213 | 214 → aspirations of the family. In this view, civic acts such as the sharing of information, and political acts...
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