Campus politics, student societies and social media

Brian D Loader, Ariadne Vromen, Michael A Xenos, Holly Steel, Samuel Burgum

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The university campus has often been seen as an important site for the politicization of young people. Recent explanations for this have focused attention upon the role of the student union as a means to enable a ‘critical mass’ of previously isolated individuals to produce social networks of common interest. What is missing from these accounts, however, and what this article seeks to address, is how these factors actually facilitate the development of political norms and the active engagement of many students. Drawing upon qualitative data from three countries we argue that it is the milieu of the smaller student societies that are crucial for facilitating the habitus of the student citizen. They provide the space for creative development and performance of the political self, affiliations to particular fields and access to cultural and social capital. Moreover, we contend that these processes of politicization are increasingly enacted through social media networks that foreground their importance for developing political habitus in the future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)820-839
    JournalThe Sociological Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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