Reinforcement Theory and Study of the Impact of Internet Technologies on Political Participation of Modern Youth

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The article examines the methodological possibilities of reinforcement theory in the field of studying the influence of Internet technologies on political behavior. The prospects of the “theory of reinforcement” are considered in the context of the changing role of Internet technologies in the political process since the beginning of the 2010s and the growing popularity of competing methodological directions, first of all, the “theory of mobilization”. It is revealed that the rivalry between the theory of reinforcement and the theory of mobilization at the present stage turns into a state of methodological dualism. Reinforcement theory not only retained its significance in the context of the growth of political mobilization in the period of the 2010s, but also received further development: the new concept of “selective avoidance” supplemented its theoretical apparatus. Reinforcement theory retains its significance for the study of political leadership among Russian youth, the activities of radical youth organizations. One of the factors in preserving the methodological potential of reinforcement theory in the study of the political activism of Russian youth is the practical combination of its principles with the network approach.

About the authors

Nikolay Vladimirovich Grishin

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Political Science, Professor of the Department of Political Institutions and Applied Political Studies

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Grishin N.V.

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