From Collectivity to Connectivity? Media and Political Participation

Abstract


Despite the consensus that social media are changing communication, no such consensus exists when it comes to assessing the effects that the emerging social network services may have on political participation. While optimistic assumptions point toward increased interest and the fostering of social engagement through the use of online social networks, the more skeptical view expects an exacerbation of the trend toward dwindling political interest and increasing political apathy, as manifested, for example, in declining voter participation and party membership. The present study argues that the contradictory assessments are due to different definitions of participation, which themselves reflect changing notions of democracy. Based on representative survey data, the analysis focuses on the relationship of media use and various forms of political participation, examining whether the former ideal of "collective action" is being replaced by the notion of "connective action" (W. Lance Bennett), which puts more emphasis on participatory action as an act of personal expression across trusted social networks.

Financing

Own funds

CMC Staff


Maren Beaufort (Contact)

Josef Seethaler (Project Leader)

Cooperation Partners


Brian D. Loader, University of York, Department of Sociology (Congress Organisation: “Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy”)

Congress Organisation

Digital Media, Political Polarization and Challenges to Democracy - an International Symposium (with the University of York), Vienna, 21-22 September 2017

ORF DialogForum „Wer ist das Volk? [Who are the People?]“ - Public Lecture mit W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington (with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF), Vienna, 21 September 2017

Changing Media – Changing Democracy? Exploring the Democratic Potential of Social Media. 20th Anniversary Conference of the Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies (CMC) along with the 4th Research Conference of the Austrian Research Association – Working Group on Democracy and the 2014 Workshop of the “Network Media Structures”, Vienna, 6-7 November 2014

In the Media


Comment on the lecture by W. Lance Bennett in: Falter, 04.10.2017

Maren Beaufort and Josef Seethaler on social media and political engagement: Ö1 – “Digital.Leben“, 25.01.2016

20th Anniversary Conference of CMC on Youtube, 10 November 2014 

Publications and Lectures


Books and Monographs

Books and Monographs

  • Beaufort, M. (Ed.). (2019). Digital media, political polarization and challenges to democracy. London, New York: Routledge. Retrieved from https://www.routledge.com/Digital-Media-Political-Polarization-and-Challenges-to-Democracy-1st/Beaufort/p/book/9780367198893
  • Eberwein, T., & Wenzel, C. (Eds.). (2019). Changing media – changing democracy? Exploring the democratic potential of social media (= Relation – Communication Research in Comparative Perspective, Vol. 5). Changing media – changing democracy? Exploring the democratic potential of social media (= Relation – Communication Research in Comparative Perspective, Vol. 5). Wien: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press.
  • Beaufort, M. (Ed.). (2018). Digital media, political polarization and challenges to democracy. Special Issue of Information, Communication & Society, 21(7). Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rics20/21/7?nav=tocList
  • Birgit Stark, P. L. (Ed.). (2012). Participation. Special Issue "Communications. The European Journal of Communication Research", Vol. 37(3). Communications. The European Journal of Communication Reserach (p. 120). New York/ Berlin: De Gruyter.

Articles and Book Chapters

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Beaufort, M. (2019). Introduction: Digital media, political polarization and challenges to democracy. In M. Beaufort (Ed.), Digital media, political polarization and challenges to democracy (pp. 1-7). London, New York: Routledge.
  • Beaufort, M. (2018). Digital media, political polarization and challenges to democracy. Information, Communication & Society, 21, 915-920. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2018.1451909
  • Riedl, A. (2016). Kontakt mit Andersdenkenden im Social Web: Chance oder Gefahr für die politische Partizipation? Ergebnisse einer Befragung österreichischer UserInnen [Disagreement in social media: Chance or threat for political participation? Results of a survey among Austrian users]. In D. Bertel, Himmelsbach, J., Krakovsky, C., Metzler, B., Riedl, A., & Möller, L. (Eds.), Junge Perspektiven auf Partizipation in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Beiträge zur ersten under.docs - Fachtagung zu Kommunikation [Young perspectives on participation in the past and the present] (pp. 300-323). Wien: danzig & unfried.
  • Beaufort, M., & Seethaler, J. (2014). Wandel der Mediennutzung - Wandel im politischen Verhalten? [Changing media use - changing political participation?]. Medien Journal, 38, 15-41.
  • Kaun, A., Lunt, P., Van Zoonen, L., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P., & Stark, B. (2013). The mediation of civic participation: Diverse forms of political agency in a multimedia age. In N. Carpentier, Schrøder, K., & Hallet, L. (Eds.), Transforming audiences, transforming societies.

Lectures

Lectures

Popular Publications

Popular Publications

  • Beaufort, M., & Seethaler, J. (2017). Von neuen Formen der Kommunikation zu neuen Formen der Partizipation - oder umgekehrt? [From new forms of communication to new forms of participation - or vice versa?]. Texte: Öffentlich-Rechtliche Qualität Im Diskurs, 20, 24-35. Retrieved from http://zukunft.orf.at/show_content.php?sid=147&pvi_id=1815&pvi_medientyp=t&oti_tag=Texte
  • Seethaler, J. (2015). "Wenn der Tratsch in Hass umschlägt, ist Feuer am Dach" [Interview]. Salzburger Nachrichten.

Popular Talks

Popular Talks