In this study, we examine the political socialization of teenagers by focusing on the 2008 Candlelight Protests in Korea, with particular emphasis on the implication of technological variables of modern society—in this case, new media. In the 2008 protests, we find that the protests were triggered by online communities (known as cafés in Korea) for, in part, the purposes of entertainment and amusement. The leading actors were middle and high school students; participation at both personal and organizational levels supplemented each other to amplify the impact of the protests. Survey results reveal the Internet as a primary tool that teenagers use to obtain political information, organize, and mobilize. As well, females were more aggressive in their participation, as found from the differences in Internet usage trends between teenage girls and boys. This case illuminates the potential of new media in bringing revolutionary change to the political socialization patterns of teenagers.


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pp. 135-162
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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