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What drives political participation? Motivations and Mobilization in a Digital Age.

Lilleker, D. and Koc-Michalska, K., 2016. What drives political participation? Motivations and Mobilization in a Digital Age. In: 66th ICA Annual Conference: Communicating with power, 9-13 June 2016, Fukuoka, Japan.

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The article provides insights into the driving forces that underpin new forms of political participation. Digital technologies offer opportunities for engaging in a wide range of civically-oriented activities, whether liking or sharing political content, joining online political communities or joining discussions, each can contribute to deeper democratic engagement and, for the individual, act as a pathway towards further civic participation. Conventional acts of political participation, demonstrating, petitioning and voting, are argued to be driven primarily by intrinsic motivations relating to self-efficacy and empowerment as the individual feels they can have influence over decision makers. Little research explores whether similar motivations drive participation in less conventional acts, as well as whether mobilisation attempts via social media by peers or political organisations mediate those motivations. Drawing on data from a survey among a representative sample of the UK electorate, we find the offline and online spheres of agency as still fairly distinct. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations both matter but extrinsic motivations, following norms of behaviour within networks and supporting the activities of peers, have the strongest explanatory power independent of the sphere of activity. The mediating effect of mobilisation tactics has a minimal effect on extrinsic motivations, online or offline, but online intrinsic motivations lose their explanatory power. This finding suggests online political acts are carried out due to mobilisation, although as intrinsic factors offer little explanatory power these acts may lack meaning to the individual. We also found that campaign organisations are the most powerful mobilisers perhaps suggesting social media users are most likely to perform simple acts in support of non-contentious causes.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:23906
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:15 Jun 2016 09:23
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:56


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