About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9144-9152
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0694

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AMONG YOUTH: DOES EDUCATION MATTER?

M. Pejic-Bach, J. Zoroja, K. Ćurko

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business (CROATIA)
Recent trends in the usage of social media and Internet for political participation indicated that there is a growing need for deep understanding of different aspects of this phenomenon. Digital divide in the area of usage of Internet and social media for political participation is not investigated to the full extent. Questions arise in relation of the impact of different levels of economic development (at the country level) and different levels of education (at the personal level) to the digital divide of internet and social media political participation.

In this paper, the authors investigate differences among Internet users in European countries focusing on their habits related to usage of Internet for political purposes, such as posting opinion on social media, or participating in on-line consultation or voting. We use the dataset extracted from the Eurostat database, about the abovementioned activities of young citizens (age 16 to 29) in year 2017, with the three groups of educational level: low, medium, and high (as defined by Eurostat). Following variables were used:
(i) Internet use participating in social networks (creating user profile, posting messages or other contributions to facebook, twitter, etc);
(ii) Internet use taking part in on-line consultations or voting to define civic or political issues (e.g. urban planning, signing a petition);
(iii) Internet use posting opinions on civic or political issues via websites (e.g. blogs, social networks, etc.), and
(iv) Internet use for any type of civic or political participation.

Cluster analysis was used in order to investigate the impact of different levels of economic development (at the country level) and different levels of education (at the personal level) to the digital divide of internet and social media political participation. Goal of the research was to investigate in which European countries young people with different educational levels (low, medium and high) use Internet for overall social networking, e-voting and political issues the most. Findings showed that in all examined countries, young people used Internet the most in Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg and Iceland. At the same time, there are some exceptions in some variables, where young people in Estonia and Malta also used Internet in high percentage especially for social networks and e-voting. In addition, there are significant differences among youth according to their level of education, indicating that youth with lower level of education tend to participate marginally in on-line consultations or voting to define civic or political issues (e.g. urban planning, signing a petition), while participation on civic or political issues via websites (e.g. blogs, social networks, etc.) is lower compared to their better educated peers. Results indicate that education overall is important for increasing the political participation in European countries. Future research should be oriented to investigation of specific courses aiming to foster the knowledge of Internet and social media for political participation, especially for less educated youth.
@InProceedings{PEJICBACH2018INT,
author = {Pejic-Bach, M. and Zoroja, J. and Ćurko, K.},
title = {INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AMONG YOUTH: DOES EDUCATION MATTER?},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0694},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0694},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9144-9152}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Pejic-Bach AU - J. Zoroja AU - K. Ćurko
TI - INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AMONG YOUTH: DOES EDUCATION MATTER?
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0694
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 9144
EP - 9152
ER -
M. Pejic-Bach, J. Zoroja, K. Ćurko (2018) INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA FOR POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AMONG YOUTH: DOES EDUCATION MATTER?, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 9144-9152.
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