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Everybody thinks online participation is great – for somebody else: a qualitative and quantitative analysis of perceptions and expectations of online participation in the Green Party Germany

Everybody thinks online participation is great – for somebody else: a qualitative and quantitative analysis of perceptions and expectations of online participation in the Green Party Germany
Everybody thinks online participation is great – for somebody else: a qualitative and quantitative analysis of perceptions and expectations of online participation in the Green Party Germany
Based on a case study from the Green Party Germany, we discuss the expectations and potential effects of the introduction of new online participation opportunities. These methods are often used in hopes of drawing in a wider group of participants, but existing literature on digital inequality suggests that this is unlikely to happen. Applying a mixed methods approach, we investigate how likely the expectations related to these new opportunities are to be met. We used semi-structure interviews to draw out what effects party members think online participation will have. We then conducted a survey asking members about their plans to change their behaviour. Comparing expectations to prospective behavioural changes, we find that the high hopes of both party members and leaders – to draw in those members who currently do not engage – are likely to be disappointed. Members who are better off, better educated, and already more active, will likely benefit more than those the party hopes to engage. We argue that this is linked to the prevailing digital divide, and that those who are targeted for more participation need to be more actively addressed to achieve broader participation.
digital divide, Inclusion, Mobilisation, Non-use, participation, Political parties, Reinforcement
287-296
ACM
Thuermer, Gefion
e323e9a3-823b-4d53-af96-f45208f0f9f6
Roth, Silke
cd4e63d8-bd84-45c1-b317-5850d2a362b6
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Staab, Steffen
bf48d51b-bd11-4d58-8e1c-4e6e03b30c49
Thuermer, Gefion
e323e9a3-823b-4d53-af96-f45208f0f9f6
Roth, Silke
cd4e63d8-bd84-45c1-b317-5850d2a362b6
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Staab, Steffen
bf48d51b-bd11-4d58-8e1c-4e6e03b30c49

Thuermer, Gefion, Roth, Silke, O'Hara, Kieron and Staab, Steffen (2018) Everybody thinks online participation is great – for somebody else: a qualitative and quantitative analysis of perceptions and expectations of online participation in the Green Party Germany. In WebSci '18 Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science. ACM. 10 pp, pp. 287-296. (doi:10.1145/3201064.3201069).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Based on a case study from the Green Party Germany, we discuss the expectations and potential effects of the introduction of new online participation opportunities. These methods are often used in hopes of drawing in a wider group of participants, but existing literature on digital inequality suggests that this is unlikely to happen. Applying a mixed methods approach, we investigate how likely the expectations related to these new opportunities are to be met. We used semi-structure interviews to draw out what effects party members think online participation will have. We then conducted a survey asking members about their plans to change their behaviour. Comparing expectations to prospective behavioural changes, we find that the high hopes of both party members and leaders – to draw in those members who currently do not engage – are likely to be disappointed. Members who are better off, better educated, and already more active, will likely benefit more than those the party hopes to engage. We argue that this is linked to the prevailing digital divide, and that those who are targeted for more participation need to be more actively addressed to achieve broader participation.

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More information

Published date: 25 May 2018
Venue - Dates: 10th ACM Annual Conference on Web Science: Web Science 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2018-05-27 - 2018-05-30
Keywords: digital divide, Inclusion, Mobilisation, Non-use, participation, Political parties, Reinforcement

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419199
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419199
PURE UUID: 4d1545c9-4e5e-4ef5-adbc-4dbf531cc812
ORCID for Gefion Thuermer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7345-0000
ORCID for Kieron O'Hara: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9051-4456
ORCID for Steffen Staab: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0780-4154

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 19 Jun 2018 00:34

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