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Media usage and Gamson’s mobilization hypothesis in four Western European countries


Wüest, Bruno; Bertsou, Eri (2016). Media usage and Gamson’s mobilization hypothesis in four Western European countries. In: European Political Science Association. Annual Meeting, Brussels, 23 June 2016 - 25 June 2016.

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between media usage and political engagement for citizens, who are neither invested nor supportive to politics. It starts from two fiercely debated conditions in Western Europe. First, it is well-researched that there is a noticeable number of disaffected citizens, who neither support nor show interest in the various institutions of established democracies. Second, there is a widespread notion that political news increasingly focuses on conflict, scandals, personalized stories and sensational events. We adapt Gamson’s (1968) mobilization hypothesis and show that media usage is related to more political engagement, especially among democratically disaffected persons.
This study uses novel survey data on the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland, which contains precise and multifaceted measures on media usage, trust in democratic institutions, political interest and political efficacy. While we can only present correlational evidence at the moment, our results show support for the modified Gamson mobilization hypothesis, which hopefully motivates further research with a focus on the causal mechanisms of these relationships.

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between media usage and political engagement for citizens, who are neither invested nor supportive to politics. It starts from two fiercely debated conditions in Western Europe. First, it is well-researched that there is a noticeable number of disaffected citizens, who neither support nor show interest in the various institutions of established democracies. Second, there is a widespread notion that political news increasingly focuses on conflict, scandals, personalized stories and sensational events. We adapt Gamson’s (1968) mobilization hypothesis and show that media usage is related to more political engagement, especially among democratically disaffected persons.
This study uses novel survey data on the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland, which contains precise and multifaceted measures on media usage, trust in democratic institutions, political interest and political efficacy. While we can only present correlational evidence at the moment, our results show support for the modified Gamson mobilization hypothesis, which hopefully motivates further research with a focus on the causal mechanisms of these relationships.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Vicious and virtuous at the same time? Media usage, support for democratic gov- ernance and political efficacy in four Western European countries
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:trust in politics, political efficacy, mobilization, media usage, political engagement
Language:English
Event End Date:25 June 2016
Deposited On:20 Mar 2018 10:06
Last Modified:13 Apr 2018 11:42
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:http://www.epsanet.org/conference-2016/ (Organisation)

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