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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

New Publications (Selection)

Robertson, A., & Schaetz, N. (accepted). Words Transcend Borders? Proper distance and global news coverage of the ‘migration crisis’ of June 2018. Global Media and Communication.

Kunst, M., Toepfl, F., & Dogruel, L. (2020, in press). Spirals of speaking out? Effects of the “suppressed voice rhetoric” on audiences’ willingness to express their opinion. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

Porten-Cheé, P. (2020, in press). Book review of „Digitale Medien, Partizipation und Ungleichheit: Eine Studie zum sozialen Gebrauch des Internets“, S. Rudolph. Publizistik, 65(2).

Emmer, M., Kunst, M., & Richter, C. (2020, online first). Information seeking and communication during forced migration: An empirical analysis of refugees’ digital-media use and its effects on their perceptions of Germany as their target country. Global Media and Communication.

Schaetz, N., Leißner, L., Porten-Cheé, P., Emmer, M., & Strippel, C. (2020). Politische Partizipation in Deutschland 2019. Weizenbaum Report, 1. Berlin: Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society – The German Internet Institute.

Porten-Cheé, P., Kunst, M., & Emmer, M. (2020). Online civic intervention: A new form of political participation under disruptive online discourse conditions. International Journal of Communication, 14, 514 - 534.

Porten-Cheé, P., & Eilders, C. (2020). The effects of likes on public opinion perception and personal opinion. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 45(2), 223 - 239.

Henke, J., Leißner, L. & Möhring, W. (2020). How can Journalists Promote News Credibility? Effects of Evidences on Trust and Credibility. Journalism Practice, 14(3), 299 - 318.

Leißner, L. (2019). Green living and the social media connection: The relationship between different media use types and green lifestyle politics among young adults. Journal of Environmental Media, 1(1), 33 - 57.

Leißner, L., Valentim, A., Porten-Cheé, P., & Emmer, M. (2019). The Selective Catalyst: Internet use as a mediator of citizenship norms’ effects on political participation. Weizenbaum Series, 1. Berlin: Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society – The German Internet Institute.

Porten-Cheé, P., & Eilders, C. (2019). Fragmentation in high-choice media environments from a micro-perspective: Effects of selective exposure on issue diversity in individual repertoires. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 44(2), 139 - 161.

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