Digital Engagement, Political and Civic Participation

Mobilizing Youth in Marginalized Communities

  • Jamali Samsuddin PhD Candidate, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Hamisah Hasan Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • Lai Che Ching PhD Candidate, Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Keywords: Digital Engagement, Political Participation, Civic Participation


Objective: This paper examines the digital engagement, political and civic participation among Malaysian youth in marginalized communities.  It also studies the relationship between digital engagement and two participation constructs. The framework of the study was based on mobilization theories, which suggested that previously unavailable technologies such as the Internet could mobilize members of underprivileged or underrepresented groups who lack socioeconomic resources.

Methodology: The data were obtained through a self-administered survey completed by 4,107 youths, aged from 15 to 25 years old, living in marginalized communities in six regions, namely Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern, Sabah, and Sarawak. Descriptive and factor analyses were used to analyze the data. Pearson correlation was also run to test the hypothesis that digital engagement is positively related to political and civic participation.

Results: The study found that while youths were digitally engaged, their engagement was still characterized by basic use of the Internet, such as communicating with friends. The study also found that their civic and political participation is low. However, the research found that digital engagement had a significant and positive impact on the youths' political and civic participation.

Implication: This research provides empirical data on the level of digital engagement, political and civic participation among Malaysian youths. The study expands on current literatures by examining the effects of Internet on youth participation. This paper offers insights to policy makers on implementing strategies and programs that promote participation among youth in marginalized communities. Its practical implication also includes contributing towards the development of specific policy and good practices on media to encourage youth participation in Malaysia.


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How to Cite
Samsuddin, J., Hasan, H., & Ching, L. C. (2016). Digital Engagement, Political and Civic Participation. Journal of Business and Social Review in Emerging Economies, 2(1), 31-40.