Citation

Online Social Networks: An Exploratory Study of Community and Civic Engagement

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Abstract:

The vision of the Internet as an “electronic agora” has been a common theme of discourse among scholars studying the impacts of computer technology on everyday life. In opposition to this view stand pessimistic scholars who insist that meaningful democratic discourse must be direct and claim that the Internet is reshaping our lives in decidedly antidemocratic and asocial ways. The present study contributes to this debate by examining the behaviors of Facebook members to better understand the online social network’s potential impact on society. Data were collected via a web-based survey using a convenience sample of 170 students from the University of Tennessee. The results suggest that through their socializing efforts, members of online social networks have the potential to enrich their lives by connecting to society, increasing the diversity of their friendships, and collecting and disseminating political information. The findings herein are likely to be of particular interest to 1) academics studying the effects of Web 2.0 technologies on society, 2) political activists and strategists interested in using such technologies to communicate with and mobilize young adults, and 3) social scientists studying political socialization.
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Association:
Name: Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference
URL:
http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p364507_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Waite, Brandon. "Online Social Networks: An Exploratory Study of Community and Civic Engagement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p364507_index.html>

APA Citation:

Waite, B. C. "Online Social Networks: An Exploratory Study of Community and Civic Engagement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p364507_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: The vision of the Internet as an “electronic agora” has been a common theme of discourse among scholars studying the impacts of computer technology on everyday life. In opposition to this view stand pessimistic scholars who insist that meaningful democratic discourse must be direct and claim that the Internet is reshaping our lives in decidedly antidemocratic and asocial ways. The present study contributes to this debate by examining the behaviors of Facebook members to better understand the online social network’s potential impact on society. Data were collected via a web-based survey using a convenience sample of 170 students from the University of Tennessee. The results suggest that through their socializing efforts, members of online social networks have the potential to enrich their lives by connecting to society, increasing the diversity of their friendships, and collecting and disseminating political information. The findings herein are likely to be of particular interest to 1) academics studying the effects of Web 2.0 technologies on society, 2) political activists and strategists interested in using such technologies to communicate with and mobilize young adults, and 3) social scientists studying political socialization.


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