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‘We need to get together and make ourselves heard’: everyday online spaces as incubators of political action.

Graham, T., Jackson, D. and Wright, S., 2016. ‘We need to get together and make ourselves heard’: everyday online spaces as incubators of political action. Information, Communication & Society, 19 (10), 1373-1389.

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DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2015.1094113


This article examines to what extent, and how, people engaging in political talk within ‘non-political’ discussion forums – online lifestyle communities – leads to political (or personal) action or calls-to-action. The analysis is framed in the context of wider questions of citizenship, civic engagement and political mobilization. To capture everyday political talk amongst citizens requires us to move beyond the now widely analysed online spaces of formal politics. Instead, we focus on online third spaces concerning lifestyle issues such as parenting, personal finance and popular culture. Drawing on a content analysis of three popular UK-based discussion forums over the course of five years (2010–2014), we found that (for two of the three cases) such spaces were more than just talking shops. Rather they were spaces where political actions not only emerged, but where they seemed to be cultivated. Discussions embedded in the personal lives of participants often developed – through talk – into political actions aimed at government (or other) authorities. The article sheds light on the contributing factors and processes that (potentially) trigger and foster action emerging from political talk and provides insight into the mobilization potential of third spaces.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:political talk ; civic engagement ; political participation ; third spaces ; political communication ; popular culture
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:22852
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:04 Nov 2015 15:52
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 09:13


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