Title: Deliberation or what? A study of activist participation on social networking sites

Authors: Jakob Svensson

Addresses: Media and Communication Studies, Karlstad University, 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden

Abstract: This paper addresses social networking sites and their promise of deliberation. Based on a (n)ethnograpic inspired case study of middle class activists in southern Stockholm, the question this paper seeks to discuss is whether the activists in my study used SNSs for deliberative purposes or for something else. The aim is to understand and discuss contemporary practices of activist political participation online. In this paper it will be argued that rather than deliberation activists were engaging in practices of online updating. Such practices will be understood in light of late modern theories of reflexivity, identity negotiation and maintenance.

Keywords: activism; deliberation; identity negotiation; late modernity; nethnography; reflexivity; political participation; social networking sites; updating; activist participation; Sweden; maintenance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2012.049787

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2012 Vol.5 No.2, pp.103 - 115

Available online: 14 Oct 2012 *

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