Digital Activism: Jesters in the Age of the Internet
We live in an age of rising political cynicism about essentially every major traditional political institution. Yet the advent of the internet has made it easier than ever to get involved in politics – how do these two macro trends interact? To answer this question, this thesis undertook a comparative study of survey respondents from “The Donald,” a community of supporters of President Donald Trump from the popular social media website Reddit, and the general American public as reflected by the American National Election Study (ANES). This thesis attempts to distinguish what makes people on The Donald unique, particularly with respect to their attitudes on the political process, their own political efficacy, and how meaningful they view their online activities to be. It finds that survey respondents had much higher internal political efficacy than the general public, but appear to be drawn to online activism as a result of their unusually low external political efficacy. These sincere-presenting trolls are labelled ‘jesters,’ with significant implications for future political trends in America.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Lin, Christopher (Georgetown University, 2012)This paper contributes to the recent literature examining the correlation between Internet usage and civic engagement. While previous studies focused primarily on voting as a proxy for civic engagement, this paper included ...