Chapter 10: Visual politicization and youth challenges to an unequal public sphere: conceptual and methodological perspectives
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The public sphere of today’s youth is increasingly dominated by visual content, and their understanding of political action is becoming firmly anchored in visual repertoires. Therefore the visual dimension of political action should be a key concern in studying youth participation. This chapter coins the concept of visual politicization to address the specificity of visual action in young actors’ political projects. This is followed by a presentation of a research program to tackle visual politicization and the methodological innovations needed for this task. The chapter introduces the “Snap-along Ethnography” and a machine learning based computational method that abductively feed into one another to grasp both the big picture and a thorough understanding of youth’s actions in visual politicization. Finally, to showcase what visual politicization may look like and how the proposed methods enable its analysis, we present two empirical illustrations from different contexts of young activists’ visual political action.

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