Comunicar 53: Critical Citizenship and Social Empowerment in the Emerging Cybersociety

Vol. XXV, n. 53, 4th quarter, October 1 2017
E-ISSN: 1988-3293 / ISSN: 1134-3478

           

University Students and Informational Social Networks: Total Sceptics, Dual Moderates or Pro-Digitals

https://doi.org/10.3916/C53-2017-06

Abstract

The goal of the present work is to analyze the use of social networks as a tool for social empowerment by Spanish university students, and their perception of the university as an institution that contributes to the formation of a critical and active citizenship, that provides them with the relevant digital competences. The literature review shows possible discrepancies regarding the effect of new forms of digital communication in empowering young people, specially university students, as well as the existence of issues related to clarify this digital stage. Following, a typological analysis of the perception of university students regarding social information networks, social empowerment and the role of the university is presented. Using the data collected through a structured questionnaire of a sample of 236 students of social science degrees, an analysis of typologies is performed with the algorithm K Medias. Three clusters significantly different –labeled as «total sceptics», «dual moderates» and «pro-digitals»– are identified. Its prevalence and its characterization are explained: belief and behaviour profiles related to these beliefs. The paper concludes with several recommendations for future research regarding the perception of the students about the use of social networks as a tool for social transformation and the role of the university in this area.

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