Joseph Kahne

Joseph Kahne headshot

Joseph Kahne is the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor of Education Policy and Politics at the University of California, Riverside. He studies the ways school practices and youth engagement with digital media influence the quality and equality of youth civic and political engagement. Kahne sits on the steering committee of the National Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and is an advisor to many civically oriented school reform efforts.


Blogs (4)


Young People’s Nonpolitical Online Activity Supports Democratic Life

Monday, March 12, 2018

Emma González, a high school student from Parkland, now has more Twitter followers than the NRA. Indeed, numerous students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have turned the social media skills and practices they use every day into tools that enable political impact. While their traumatic experience is tragically extreme, their example sheds light on a more general process: When digital skills and social networks are joined with a motivation to effect change, they become potent political resources. Our study of youth social media practices and politics indicates that this dynamic is more common and more


Educating for Democracy: What We Can Do

Monday, January 08, 2018

Educating for Democracy Teresa Chin works with youth in downtown Oakland, Calif. at Youth Radio — a media production company driven by young people. One thing she works with youth on is the development of first-person commentaries. She wants them to learn how to draw on their life experiences in order to share their perspective on a societal issue with a broad audience. As Teresa explains, “Commentaries are a really powerful tool for civic engagement. Your story is how you can get people to build empathy and understanding.” Here is a video of how Teresa does this as well


New Media’s Role in Participatory Politics

Monday, April 14, 2014

2 female students interviewing a student on camera Social network sites, websites and text increasingly serve as a conduit for political information and a major public arena where citizens express and exchange their political ideas, raise funds and mobilize others to vote, protest and work on public issues. In “Youth, New Media, and the Rise of Participatory Politics,” a working paper authored by me, my Mills College colleague Ellen Middaugh, and Danielle Allen, of the Institute for Advanced Study, we address how the ascendency of today’s new media may be introducing fundamental changes in political expectations and practices. This work grows out of the


Is the Virtual World Good for the ‘Real’ One?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

person sitting on the ground using flip phone In a cartoon depicting the evolution of Good Samaritanism in the digital age, a man walks by a homeless person lying on the street and does nothing. In the next frame, he is at his computer — “What’s this?!! Sally needs a bag of fertilizer for her Farmville farm? I better get right on it!” Many are struck by the amount of time some people spend in online communities — and concerns have been raised that our attention to virtual communities may be distracting us from the tangible needs of those around us. Frankly, when it