Department

Communication Studies

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Stuart Schwartz

Primary Subject Area

Political Science, General; Sociology, General; Mass Communications

Keywords

Civic dialogue, Democrat, Facebook, Partisan, Republican, Social Networking

Disciplines

American Politics | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Political Science | Social Influence and Political Communication | Sociology

Abstract

The Internet has played a more active role in shaping modern American political communication. With the increased popularity of social networking through websites like Facebook, more are taking to the Internet to engage in civic dialogue. This study will explore how the exchange of socially networked images, texts, and audio between Democrats and Republicans affect beliefs, behaviors and perceptions. Utilizing qualitative methodologies, the researcher interviewed ten (10) registered democrats and ten (10) registered republicans. The participants were basked ten questions and ten follow up questions. The study applied a social network analysis to evaluate how socially networked dialogue between Republicans and Democrats on Facebook influence beliefs, behaviors and perceptions. Results indicated a reinforcing effect of Facebook on already held beliefs. Furthermore, this study seeks to develop a greater understanding of the role of Facebook in the modern American political process.