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Informed Citizenship in a Media-Centric Way of Life

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Abstract

Two trends are prominent and universal to contemporary democracies: Voting rates are in steady decline while media use is growing. A transdisciplinary vantage point might help to redirect research trajectories that lead to alarming conclusions of democratic crisis. To that end, dominant ontological positions will need revision or perhaps replacement. This essay calls for (a) knowledge to be explicated beyond the written word, with serious consideration of the information value of images in the conceptualization of informed citizenship; (b) the deliberate entanglement of emotion with knowledge acquisition and political participation in explication and operationalization of active citizenship; and (c) reconsideration of electoral activities as the index of active citizenship, especially in the context of interactive media.

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