Online Social Capital and Political Engagement; facilitating and blocking aspects

Grillo, Alessandro and Passera, Mark (2016) Online Social Capital and Political Engagement; facilitating and blocking aspects. In: Political Studies Association Annual Conference 2016; , Brighton, UK. (Unpublished)


We are presenting preliminary (Delphic study and / or exploratory research) into the intersection between: Political Engagement & the younger demographic Social capital, online capital, offline capital and trust Media framing & media habits This research will seek to add to the body of literature in three interrelated fields. First the nature of political engagement and participation will be evaluated in today’s context (Ekman & Amna, 2012: Fox, 2014; Hooghe, 2014; Livingston, 2013; Van Deth, 2014). We will be looking at the various ways in which engagement has been measured (Putnam 2000, versus Norris 2000, for example) and whether political engagement can still be measured along these lines. The second theme will be looking at millennials but this time in relation to media systems and media ecologies. We will be mapping various capitals and levels of engagement by media platforms and systems. From here media platforms will be evaluated and levels of engagement as mapped. Which application, platform and creates or facilitates engagement … and then by default which one does not? This will help in determining what changes if any have occurred in bridging and bonding levels (Williams 2006) Finally the themes / strands will be brought together in order to ascertain when and how politically relevant social capital is created and whether this exists online (Ellison et al., 2007, 2011; Gil de Zuniga et al., 2012; Helliwell & Putnam, 2004: Ho et al., 2003; Resnick,2002; Skoric et al., 2009; Steinfield et al., 2008; Velenzuela et al., 2009) and if do in what fashion. The idea here is too look at what engages younger voters and where this locus exists – online and offline and finally the nature of capital (social or trust) created.

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