Social Media and Politics: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations in Designing a Study of Political Engagement

25 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2010

Date Written: June 23, 2010

Abstract

Web 2.0 has become the buzz word describing a plethora of social media available on the internet, includingblogs, photo and file sharing systems (e.g., Flickr, SlideShare, YouTube), and social networking sites (e.g., Friendster, MySpace, SecondLife). Although these media are largely designed for personal presentation, political speech and action sometime emerge, such as in postings protesting government actions on YouTube, creation of candidate headquarters in SecondLife, and utilization of still image and video functionalities on mobile phones during demonstrations and police confrontations. Last year, as candidates began preparing for the U.S. Presidential Primaries, CNN coined the term YouTube-ification of Politics to describe this development. From a perspective ascribing importance to everyday settings as venues for political expression, these Internet-based social media have become both the tools for and sites of politics. The question, however, is how such manifestations of political life can be empirically investigated within a social science theoretical framework.

Keywords: YouTube, social media, research methodology, politics

Suggested Citation

Turnšek, Maja and Jankowski, Nicholas Warren, Social Media and Politics: Theoretical and Methodological Considerations in Designing a Study of Political Engagement (June 23, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1629098 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1629098

Maja Turnšek

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Nicholas Warren Jankowski (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

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