Digitalization and Gender Differences in Political Participation among Hungarian University Students
Similarly to with the debate in western societies, concern about the disengagement of young people in political life is present in Hungarian politics. Traditional party-based politics is less and less appealing to younger cohorts of Hungarian society. However, empirical evidence supports the claim that university students are the most politically active strata of society, and online political participation has been identified as a potential avenue for connecting young people to politics. The present paper aims to reveal whether the characteristics of those students who are active online differ significantly from the background characteristics of students who take part in offline activities.
In order to describe university students’ activity in online forms of participation and assess the chronological trends thereof, the paper uses data that covers the period between 2015 and 2019 – i.e. research rounds three and four of the dataset collected by Active Youth in Hungary Research. We use latent class analysis (LCA) to assess whether individuals who participate most actively in traditional offline activities are also those who are most active in terms of online participation.
The results of the research reveal that distinct groups of university students are drawn to specialize in online versus offline repertoires of political participation, indicating that online political activities are not exclusively the purview of those who are most active in traditional offline activities.
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