The increasing use of Web 2.0 technologies in American society, specifically social networking sites, may have particular impacts on the democratic system. This thesis serves as a comprehensive exploratory study of political communication in social networking environments. The study examined whether political communication is taking place via interactive Web 2.0 technologies and if this discourse has an impact on citizen political participation. The research utilized existing qualitative theories and supplemented them with historical examples, including information from the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign and the 2009 U.S. Tea Party Movement. The data supported that Web 2.0 technologies are being used by a wide variety of individuals and organizations for political communication purposes, which in some instances leads to political participation by citizens. The study findings also reinforced that individuals are primarily using Web 2.0 sites to engage in homogenous ideological discourse. Also provided are recommendations for future research in order for scholars to fully understand the impacts and usages of social networking sites for political purposes.
|Advisor:||Hazel, Michael, Wadleigh, Paul M.|
|Department:||Communication and Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 48/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Political science, Web Studies, Mass communications|
|Keywords:||Ideological, Political communication, Political participation, Public sphere, Social networking, Web 2.0|
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