Political Parties in Search of the Youth

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Director of the Scientific Center of Digital Sociology «Yadov-center»
Affiliation: Russian State University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Occupation: Deputy Director of the Scientific Center of Digital Sociology «Yadov-center»
Affiliation: Russian State University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 12

The article "Political Parties in Search of the Youth" is devoted to the analysis of political parties’ activity in social media during the 2021 election campaign to the State Duma. We have studied parties’ actions in eight social media: Facebook, VK, OK, Instagram, Telegram, Tik Tok, YouTube, and Twitter. A total of more than 1.5 thousand accounts were analyzed. It was found that those parties that were most active in social media got the best results in the elections. There was a contradiction between the parties' efforts to build an audience in social media and the methods they used to disseminate information. Many used methods belonged to the "old school", or were associated with attempts to use the authority of the offline leaders, the discourse actively used clerical language, which led the youth to unfollow. To change this situation, parties are beginning to actively involve young people in their headquarters to work in social media. Election campaigns are becoming hybrid, mixing old and new forms, introducing gamification and politainment. Results of the research have led us to the conclusion that the role of young people in election campaigns has changed fundamentally: from passive statists they become trendsetters, and life-wise politicians turn out to be their followers, imitating and copying the behavior patterns of 20-year-olds.

Keywordssocial media, elections, political parties, online leaders, network power, parliament, youth, influencers, electoral campaigns, weak ties
AcknowledgmentThe reported study was funded by RFBR and EISR according to the research project № 21-011-31795.
Publication date27.12.2022
Number of characters34459
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