Title: The impact of mobile communication uses on civic engagement: moderating effects of exposure to politically diverse and weak-tie networks

Authors: Chang Sup Park; Homero Gil De Zúñiga

Addresses: Department of Communication, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA ' Department of Communication, University of Vienna, Austria; Universidad Diego Portales, Chile

Abstract: Based on a nationally representative survey (N = 1,540) of mobile phone users, this study investigates how diverse types of mobile phone use relate to exposure to different political and social views (i.e., crosscutting exposure), attributes of people's discussion network (i.e., weak-tie contacts), and civic engagement. Results indicate that using mobile phones for informational and expressive purposes is closely linked to exposure to diverse viewpoints through mobile communication and engagement in civic affairs. Recreational use of the mobile phone has a statistically significant link to crosscutting exposure. Further, both crosscutting exposure and weak-tie contacts moderate the association between mobile phone use for informational and recreational purposes and civic engagement. In a three-way interaction, crosscutting exposure and weak-tie contacts moderate the relationship between informational mobile phone use and civic engagement.

Keywords: mobile phone; civic engagement; crosscutting exposure; weak ties.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2019.10014812

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2019 Vol.17 No.3, pp.298 - 325

Accepted: 27 May 2018
Published online: 28 Mar 2019 *

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