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TitleBrave new world? Political participation and new media
Author(s)Simões, Maria João
Barriga, Antónia do Carmo
Jerónimo, Nuno Amaral
KeywordsPolitical participation
New social media
Social inequalities
Issue date2011
PublisherInternational Academy, Research, and Industry Association (IARIA)
Abstract(s)This paper intends to highlight the role played by new social media upon citizens’ political participation, their challenges and inequalities, like what has been thoroughly studied for traditional media. New media, also called social networks, like Twitter or Facebook, have been glorified as the universal public sphere, a promising new "café". This paper intends to discuss, in a more realistic and reflexive way, the use of some internet platforms, contradicting the excessive optimism that always arises whenever a new ICT (information and communication technology) emerges. We intend to reposition the social conditions that impact on digital political participations, namely the historical context, the social inequalities and the role of traditional media on political participation. Acknowledging the theoretical proposition stating that political participation (both in real or digital worlds) is stratified, this paper states that there is also a stratification of social media, regarding different levels of uses and goals, and that participation skills needed before social media ever existed are still necessary to participate via new media, an undervalued issue in new media studies. Similarly to other tools, Facebook and Twitter do not change the political situation by themselves. Although this transformation can be enabled by those tools, it all depends on the social, political and historical contexts. Finally, it is recognized that traditional media are also important to make political participation through social networks relevant in the real world.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:DS/CICS - Comunicações em encontros internacionais/Papers at International Meetings
ED/DH-CII - Comunicações e conferências

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