Networks of Mobilization: Student Involvement in a Municipal Election
37 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 21 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2012
An enduring issue in the study of political participation is the extent to which political awareness and engagement are socially or individually motivated. We address these issues in the context of a municipal election which generated a high level of political engagement on the part of college students for whom the election was relevant. An effort was made to interview all these students using an on-line survey, and the students were asked to provide information on their friendship networks. The paper demonstrates that awareness and engagement are not simply a consequence of individually defined interests and awareness, but rather that individuals are informed and engaged based on their locations within structured networks of social interaction.
Keywords: social networks, mobilization, political communication
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