Digital Media and Political Participation: The Moderating Role of Political Interest across Acts and Over Time

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Abstract

Political interest is a potentially important moderator of the relationship between digital media use and traditional forms of political participation. We theorize that the interaction between interest and digital media can be either positive or negative, depending on whether the action is voting, an elite-directed act, or a self-directed act. To test our expectation, we use British Election Studies data from 2001, 2005, and 2010. We find that digital media use is positively and consistently associated with political talk for those lower in political interest. For voting, we find a similar relationship that appears to be strengthening over time. For the elite-directed acts of donating money and working for a party, we find a highly variable moderating effect of political interest that can be positive, negative, or nonexistent.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Science Computer Review
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2014

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