Web 2.0 and the Political Mobilization of College Students

Web 2.0 and the Political Mobilization of College Students

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Web 2.0 and the Political Mobilization of College Students investigates how college students' online activities, when politically oriented, can affect their political participatory patterns offline. Kenneth W. Moffett and Laurie L. Rice find that online forms of political participation-like friending or following candidates and groups as well as blogging or tweeting about politics-draw in a broader swathe of young adults than might ordinarily participate. Political scientists have traditionally determined that participatory patterns among the general public hold less sway in shaping civic activity among college students. This book, however, recognizes that young adults' political participation requires looking at their online activities and the ways in which these help mobilize young adults to participate via other forms. Moffett and Rice discover that engaging in one online participatory form usually begets other forms of civic activity, either online or offline.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 190 pages
  • 157 x 238 x 18mm | 431g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 21 Tables, unspecified
  • 1498538576
  • 9781498538572

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Table of contents

Table of Contents
List of Figures

List of Tables


Chapter One: Participation, Technology and Age

Chapter Two: The Issues that Push Students Online

Chapter Three: A Portrait of Offline Participation

Chapter Four: Friending and Following as a Pathway for Political Participation

Chapter Five: Blogging and Tweeting as Attractors to Political Participation

Chapter Six: Going Offline? Online Participation's Mobilizing Effects

Chapter Seven: Causality, Endogeneity and the Complex Web of Participation

Chapter Eight: College Students and the Future of Political Participation

Appendix A: Question Wording and Summary Statistics for Student Election Survey Variables

Appendix B: Question Wording and Summary Statistics for Pew Surveys Variables


About the Authors
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Review quote

Kenneth W. Moffett and Laurie L. Rice show that online political participation among college students is far more than idle slacktivism. Using one form of social media leads to others, and online and offline civic activities are mutually reinforcing. Social media expand the pool of attentive citizens and the forms through which they can join the political fray. Political parties ignore those media at their peril. -- Constance A. Flanagan, University of Wisconsin-Madison This study of college student political mobilization through the internet will interest anyone working in these areas. Moffett and Rice's thesis is that the low cost of political participation through the internet gives students an entry point into political activity from which they are likely to expand to a variety of online and some offline political action. Their research is based on a survey of college students at one university, but they also attempt to generalize their findings with Pew survey research data... [T]he questions asked are very important. Their finding that liking and friending politically in social media leads to more offline political activity raises the possibility that the internet could narrow the participation gap in which young people are less politically active. Though that is merely a possibility, the authors make a strong case against the "slacktivism" argument that online participation is trivial because it is easy. The final, most interesting chapter ponders this and other implications for political science and campaigns. * CHOICE * Web 2.0 and the Political Mobilization of College Students is a much-needed exploration of millennials' online and offline political activity. Moffett and Rice's examination of different forms of online participation and its consequences for offline participation provides the first empirical evidence that engaging in the virtual world can in fact translate to offline political activity. The consequences of these findings are considerable for both a flourishing field of political science as well as for political parties and candidates. This new book successfully compiles existing literature and theoretical and empirical innovations in ways that enrich our understanding of millennials and their behavior. -- Suzanne Chod, North Central College
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About Kenneth W. Moffett

Kenneth W. Moffett is associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Laurie L. Rice is associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
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