The Internet - Political Turn-On or Turn-off?. John Curtice Strathclyde University/ National Centre for Social Research. The Project. Modules on British Social Attitudes 2003 and 2005; plus previous info from 2000 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
The Internet - Political Turn-On or Turn-off?John CurticeStrathclyde University/National Centre for Social Research
The ProjectModules on British Social Attitudes 2003 and 2005; plus previous info from 2000Examine relationship between internet use and (1) political engagement, (2) social capitalMain N=3297 (2003); 3167 (2005)2005 module fielded after general election
The StructureHas access to the internet helped to increase the political engagement of individual voters?What role did the internet play in the dissemination of information in the 2005 election?
A turned on votertrusts politicians & governmentparticipates in politics
Why might internet turn people on?Greater transparency and availability of informationLower cost - do it from homeLower cost - easier to organiseEasier to find fellow adherents
The ProblemIf at one point in time internet users are more trusting and/or activeis that because they use the internetor, because they were more trusting and/or active in the first place?
Trust by Length of Use
System Efficacy by Use
Personal Efficacy by Use
MPs lose touch
Politics too complicated
Interest in Politics
Interest in Politics
Gone on demo
Conclusion(Already) politically active were early internet adopters and use it as one way of pursuing their interestBut internet does not (substantially) increase how many people are politically engaged
But does this miss the point?Argument assumes that internet only has a direct impact website -> userPossibility of two-step flow.website -> user -> othersFragmentation means two-step flows now only way any medium has an impact?
The Usual Suspects?
Who Talks Most?
Do Digital Users Talk?
ConclusionStill the case that few people use the internet to find out about politicsThose that do are mostly the usual suspectsNevertheless digital users are particularly talkative - and so add a little more to the two-step flow of information