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A social safety net? Rejection sensitivity and political opinion sharing among young people in social media

Bäck, Emma LU ; Bäck, Hanna LU ; Fredén, Annika LU and Gustafsson, Nils LU (2019) In New Media & Society 21(2).
Abstract
One reason why people avoid using social media to express their opinions is to avert social sanctions as proposed by the spiral of silence theory. We here elaborate on individual-level sensitivity to social rejection in relation to voicing political opinions on social media sites. Given the uncertainty about sharing political views in social media, and the fact that social acceptance, or rejection, can be easily communicated through, for instance, likes, or a lack of likes, we argue that rejection sensitive individuals are less likely to share political information in social media. Combining an analysis of unique survey data on psychological characteristics and online political activity with focus group interviews with Swedish youth... (More)
One reason why people avoid using social media to express their opinions is to avert social sanctions as proposed by the spiral of silence theory. We here elaborate on individual-level sensitivity to social rejection in relation to voicing political opinions on social media sites. Given the uncertainty about sharing political views in social media, and the fact that social acceptance, or rejection, can be easily communicated through, for instance, likes, or a lack of likes, we argue that rejection sensitive individuals are less likely to share political information in social media. Combining an analysis of unique survey data on psychological characteristics and online political activity with focus group interviews with Swedish youth supports our argument, showing that rejection sensitive individuals are less inclined to engage politically in social media. The results extend on previous research by establishing the role of rejection sensitivity in political engagement in social media. (Less)
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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
social media, political participation, political opinion, political psychology, rejection sensitivity
in
New Media & Society
volume
21
issue
2
pages
19 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85059478775
ISSN
1461-4448
DOI
10.1177/1461444818795487
project
Political participation among young people – from party democrats to social media activists?
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
913ede38-72d9-4270-90fa-1cea16f6617f
date added to LUP
2018-09-06 09:30:29
date last changed
2020-12-29 04:45:53
@article{913ede38-72d9-4270-90fa-1cea16f6617f,
  abstract     = {One reason why people avoid using social media to express their opinions is to avert social sanctions as proposed by the spiral of silence theory. We here elaborate on individual-level sensitivity to social rejection in relation to voicing political opinions on social media sites. Given the uncertainty about sharing political views in social media, and the fact that social acceptance, or rejection, can be easily communicated through, for instance, likes, or a lack of likes, we argue that rejection sensitive individuals are less likely to share political information in social media. Combining an analysis of unique survey data on psychological characteristics and online political activity with focus group interviews with Swedish youth supports our argument, showing that rejection sensitive individuals are less inclined to engage politically in social media. The results extend on previous research by establishing the role of rejection sensitivity in political engagement in social media.},
  author       = {Bäck, Emma and Bäck, Hanna and Fredén, Annika and Gustafsson, Nils},
  issn         = {1461-4448},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {New Media & Society},
  title        = {A social safety net? Rejection sensitivity and political opinion sharing among young people in social media},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/50696628/Ba_ck_et_al_2018_NMS_AV.pdf},
  doi          = {10.1177/1461444818795487},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2019},
}