Marko M. Skoric, Nathaniel Dunbar Poor: Barriers to Entry and Online Political Activism
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Marko M. Skoric, Nathaniel Dunbar Poor: Barriers to Entry and Online Political Activism

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#CeDEM13 Day 2 afternoon, Reflections, Main Hall, Chair: Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen

#CeDEM13 Day 2 afternoon, Reflections, Main Hall, Chair: Morten Meyerhoff Nielsen

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Marko M. Skoric, Nathaniel Dunbar Poor: Barriers to Entry and Online Political Activism Marko M. Skoric, Nathaniel Dunbar Poor: Barriers to Entry and Online Political Activism Presentation Transcript

  • Barriers  to  Entry  and  Online  Poli1cal  Ac1vism  The  Hopes  and  Fears  Around  Slack1vism  Marko  Skoric,  NTU,  Singapore  Nathaniel  Poor,  Brooklyn,  USA  
  • The  Issues  Overlapping  Issues…  •  Low  levels  of  youth  engagement  in  poli1cs.  •  Young  people s  broad  use  of  social  media.  •  Hopes  and  fears  projected  upon  (any)  new  media.  …which  underlie:  •  Ci1zens  civic  and  poli1cal  engagement.  •  Fear  of  slack1vism.                (slacker  +  ac1vism)  
  • Slack1vism  in  Ac1on    •  Voicing  opinions  online,  pos1ng  comments  and  links,  ‘liking’  certain  groups  and  causes,  changing  avatars,  etc.  •  Typically,  slack1vist  ac1vi1es  do  not  involve  significant  financial  or  personal  risks  – No  need  to  directly  confront  entrenched  norms  and  prac1ces  
  • An  Example  •  US  White  House s  digital  pe11on  site,  We  the  People.  •  5,000  votes  needed.  •  25,000…  •  100,000.  •  Ex:  Build  a  working  death  star  from  Star  Wars  (25k).  
  • The  Pre-­‐Internet  Origins  of  Slack1vism  •  Offline   slack1vism  – Bumper  s1ckers  – Lapel  s1ckers  – Poli1cal  bu^ons    – Rubber  wristbands  – T-­‐shirts  •  Since  1956,  ques1ons  on  campaign  bu^ons  and  bumper  s1ckers  included  in  ANES  surveys  – Widely  used  measures  of  poli1cal  interest  and  par1cipa1on        
  • What  Mo1vates  Slack1vists?  •  Selfish  and  narcissis1c  reasons  (Morozov,  2009)  •  Construc1on  of  a  desirable  (online)  iden1fy  –  hoped-­‐for  possible  selves (Zhao  et  al.,  2008)  •  Digital  cultural  objects  can  signal  to  others  who  we  are  or  who  we  want  to  be  –  e.g.  Image  management  on  Facebook  •  Desirable  friends  •  Focused  on  self-­‐  rather  than  poli1cal  expression?    
  • Pros  and  Cons  of  Slack1vism  •  Key  advantages:  – Lowering  the  barriers  to  par1cipa1on  – Reaching  a  large  number  of  people  quickly,  with  minimal  effort  and  at  low  cost  •  Crea1ng  awareness  is  the  first  step  towards  solving  the  problem  – Offering  new  opportuni1es  for  engagement  to  ci1zens  disillusioned  with  tradi1onal  poli1cs  – Providing  a  space  for  prac1cing  civic  skills  
  • Pros  and  Cons  of  Slack1vism  •  Key  disadvantages:  – Slack1vist  ac1vi1es  have  li^le  or  no  impact  on  real-­‐life  poli1cal  outcomes  – Emphasis  on  popularity,  membership  numbers  and  dona1ons  – Degrada1on  of  the  quality  of  ac1vism  – May  divert  ci1zens  from  more  produc1ve  and  meaningful  ways  to  par1cipate  – Usually  lacking  real  leadership  and  strategy  – Lacking  a  sacrificial  element  that  characterizes  tradi1onal  ac1vism  
  • Does  Social  Media  Use  Promote  Engagement?    •   Meta-­‐analysis  of  33  published  survey  based  studies  •   Types  of  use  à  social  capital/civic  &  poli1cal  engagement  •   Average  effect  size  (correla1on  coefficient  r)      Type of socialmedia useMean (SE) SD NExpressive use 0.25 (0.10) 0.24 6Informational use 0.16 (0.05) 0.18 11Identity use 0.09 (0.03) 0.08 7Relational use 0.08 (0.05) 0.15 10Entertainment use -0.11 (0.06) 0.08 2
  •          Thank  you!