How are Online and Offline Political Activities Connected?
A Comparison of Studies
In general, political participation means all the action of citizens that has the aim or the effect of influencing government or politics. Studies argue that media consumption and political participation are correlated: offline and online political participation affect each other. Knowing the relationship between online and offline political activity can improve estimations of offline political events based on social media data.
By comparing these empirical results, in this study we investigate whether social media usage reinforces or weakens the willingness to become involved in a demonstration or other offline political activity. Numerous studies have already attempted to measure this effect, with contradictory findings related to the direction and volume of the latter.
We explore this connection by synthesizing recent empirical political science papers. For this purpose, we compare the results of the former using Bayesian updating – a tool for comparing studies regardless of their methodology or data collection method. This method of data analysis is also insensitive to the operationalization of either the dependent or the explanatory variables.
Based on the aforementioned studies, our results prove that online political activity has a significant positive effect on offline political activity, in spite of the fact that some research has found an insignificant connection.
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