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Deliberation or Small Talk? Motivations for Public Discussion and their Effects on Civic Engagement
Unformatted Document Text:  Motivations for Public Discussion St. Louis, MO, August 2011 Abstract We use original survey data to examine (1) the motivations people have for engaging in online and interpersonal discussions, and (2) the influence of instrumental and relational goals on civic participation. Using structural equation modeling, we find that both goals trigger discussions online and offline, which in turn lead to civic engagement. These results cast citizen-to-citizen communication on a different perspective than deliberative theory and point to social motivations as an alternative path to civic life. 2

Authors: Valenzuela, Sebastian., Jeong, Sun Ho. and Gil de Zuniga, Homero.
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Motivations for Public Discussion
St. Louis, MO, August 2011
Abstract
We use original survey data to examine (1) the motivations people have for engaging in online and 
interpersonal discussions, and (2) the influence of instrumental and relational goals on civic 
participation. Using structural equation modeling, we find that both goals trigger discussions 
online and offline, which in turn lead to civic engagement. These results cast citizen-to-citizen 
communication on a different perspective than deliberative theory and point to social motivations 
as an alternative path to civic life.
2


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