Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture

Couldry, Nick; Stephansen, Hilde; Fotopoulou, Aristea; MacDonald, Richard; Clark, William and Dickens, Luke. 2014. Digital citizenship? Narrative exchange and the changing terms of civic culture. Citizenship Studies, 18(6-7), pp. 615-629. ISSN 1362-1025 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the possibilities for new forms of ‘digital citizenship’ currently emerging through digitally supported processes of narrative exchange. Using Dahlgren's (Dahlgren, P. 2003. “Reconfiguring Civic Culture in the New Media Milieu.” In Media and the Restyling of Politics, edited by J. Corner, and D. Pels, 151–170. London: Sage; Dahlgren, P. 2009. Media and Political Engagement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.) circuit of ‘civic culture’ as a model for exploring the interlinking preconditions for new acts of citizenship, we discuss the contrasting outcomes of research at three fieldwork sites in the North of England – educational (a sixth form college), civil society (a community reporters' network) and social (a local club). Each site provided clear evidence of the elements of Dahlgren's circuit (some depending on the intensive use of digital infrastructure, others predating it), but there were also breaks in the circuit that constrained its effectiveness. A crucial factor in each case for building a lasting circuit of civic culture (and an effective base for new forms of digital citizenship) is the role that digital infrastructure can play in extending the scale of interactions beyond the purely local.

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The research reported here was conducted as part of Storycircle, a core project within the FIRM research consortium funded by the RCUK Digital Economy Programme: see and


digital citizenship, civic culture: circuit, narrative exchange, digital storytelling, communities of practice

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


25 March 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

10 Sep 2014 08:51

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:00

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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