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The Usual Suspects? Swedish Social Media Users and Political Participation

Gustafsson, Nils LU (2011) ECPR 6th General Conference, 2011
Abstract
This paper uses data from a 2010 Swedish nationwide survey (done in cooperation with the SOM institute in Gothenburg) in order to study whether citizens who engage in participatory activities, especially signing petitions, while using sites like Facebook share demographic and other features with citizens who are known from previous studies to be more likely to participate in politics.



Does the mere use of social media services such as Facebook lead to new groups of citizens taking part in politics, or do we see a steady interest from the “usual suspects” of political participation research, adding new channels to exert influence? Is there a generational factor at hand, where young people, the “digital natives”, are... (More)
This paper uses data from a 2010 Swedish nationwide survey (done in cooperation with the SOM institute in Gothenburg) in order to study whether citizens who engage in participatory activities, especially signing petitions, while using sites like Facebook share demographic and other features with citizens who are known from previous studies to be more likely to participate in politics.



Does the mere use of social media services such as Facebook lead to new groups of citizens taking part in politics, or do we see a steady interest from the “usual suspects” of political participation research, adding new channels to exert influence? Is there a generational factor at hand, where young people, the “digital natives”, are exchanging old ways of interacting with the political system for “clicktivism” – or is the dichotomy of old and new forms of participation a false one?



This preliminary study shows that for young Swedes, social media is a more popular channel for participating than traditional forms. However, it is also clear that socio-economic factors are still important predictors for participation, online or offline. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
social media, political participation, social network sites
conference name
ECPR 6th General Conference, 2011
project
Viral politik. Politisk mobilisering i sociala medier
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
220bfa07-0883-47a2-b787-d1529286e10a (old id 2150520)
date added to LUP
2011-09-02 09:30:26
date last changed
2016-04-16 11:51:23
@misc{220bfa07-0883-47a2-b787-d1529286e10a,
  abstract     = {This paper uses data from a 2010 Swedish nationwide survey (done in cooperation with the SOM institute in Gothenburg) in order to study whether citizens who engage in participatory activities, especially signing petitions, while using sites like Facebook share demographic and other features with citizens who are known from previous studies to be more likely to participate in politics.<br/><br>
 <br/><br>
Does the mere use of social media services such as Facebook lead to new groups of citizens taking part in politics, or do we see a steady interest from the “usual suspects” of political participation research, adding new channels to exert influence? Is there a generational factor at hand, where young people, the “digital natives”, are exchanging old ways of interacting with the political system for “clicktivism” – or is the dichotomy of old and new forms of participation a false one?<br/><br>
 <br/><br>
This preliminary study shows that for young Swedes, social media is a more popular channel for participating than traditional forms. However, it is also clear that socio-economic factors are still important predictors for participation, online or offline.},
  author       = {Gustafsson, Nils},
  keyword      = {social media,political participation,social network sites},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {The Usual Suspects? Swedish Social Media Users and Political Participation},
  year         = {2011},
}