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VERDIKT-Kjernekomp.og verdiskaping IKT

Social media and the new public sphere: consequences for citizenship and democracy

Awarded: NOK 11.4 mill.


This project examines how new social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter change the conditions for participation and influence in public sphere, and to analyse the consequences for citizenship and democracy. Modern technologies enable new social p ractices by reducing transaction costs related to production and publication of information, and by making new tools for coordination available. The project focuses on the interaction between technological possibilities and the social practices that are f ormed through the use of technology. Our assumption is that this interaction creates new possibilities for individuals and groups, but at the same time established institutions will try to adapt to the new digital environment with the aim of strengthening their influence and position. The project will analyse how institutional and non institutional actors use social media strategically. An evaluation of the combined effect of these efforts on how public sphere and democratic institutions and processes fun ction will also be undertaken. Through the concept of public sphere this project will provide a broad analysis of how technological structures, institutional positioning and individual participation interact in creating new types of participation and dem ocratic influence. Citizens' participation in and influence through public sphere will be examined through individual level surveys within specific political sub-fields in relation to different organisations and institutions and among specific groups such as minorities.

Funding scheme:

VERDIKT-Kjernekomp.og verdiskaping IKT

Thematic Areas and Topics