The Double Conditioning of Political Participation: Grassroots Politics on Facebook
AbstractThe emergence of social network sites as a part of everyday life has given rise to a number of debates on the demo- cratic potential afforded by these technologies. This paper addresses political participation facilitated through Facebook from a practice-oriented perspective and presents a case study of the political grassroots organisation, Fight For The Future. Initially, the paper provides a basic theoretical framework that seeks to map the relation between civic practices, materiality, and discursive features. Using this framework, the article analyses Fight For The Future’s use of Facebook to facilitate political participation. The study finds that user participation on the Facebook page is ‘double conditioned’ by the material structure of the social network site on the one hand and by the discourses articulated by the organisation and users on the other. Finally, the paper discusses the findings and raises a number of problems and obstacles facing participatory grassroots organisations, such as Fight For The Future, when using Facebook.
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