Digital Citizenship

Research Group 13

The research group investigates how people today see and shape their role in democracy. We pay special attention to how this relationship is shaped by online communication on an individual level. In this context, changing or newly emerging attitudes and expectations regarding political engagement in democracy - so-called emergent citizen norms - are identified on the basis of quantitative and qualitative methods and their consequences for individual political participation are analysed.

The new role of citizens in the networked society

We find our partners online, can give away surplus food through an app, or seek advice which political party programmes come closest to our ideals. With all these new possibilities, the question arises as to how they will change the citizens’ attitudes towards our democracy. However, we still know only little about whether and how open-mindedness towards newer forms of social engagement influences the citizens' ideas of their role in society.

Research subject

The research group intends to systematically examine these processes of change: changing or newly emerging attitudes and expectations regarding political engagement in democracy – so-called emergent citizenship norms – will be identified, and their consequences for individual political participation will be analyzed. We examine how people understand their role in democracy today with a focus on how this understanding is shaped by online communication on an individual level.

Methods

Both qualitative and quantitative research methods are used for our research: guided interviews and ethnographic studies as well as representative surveys and experimental designs will help to identify, describe, and holistically explain citizenship norms and participation behavior.

Aim

Our research aims to further develop the academic debate on participation and citizenship norms from the integrative perspective of communication science, political science, sociology, and psychology. This interdisciplinary perspective will benefit both civil society practice and the political decision-making process.

Research Group Members

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