Informace o publikaci

Participation and engagement first? Reconsidering the role of new media in transformation of political and civic engagement in the Czech Republic



Rok publikování 2014
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Popis On the theoretical level, the paper builds upon Carpentier's and Dahlgren's notion of participation, upon Bourdieu's theory of social and cultural capital and upon social constructivist approaches connecting political participation with everyday life (Bakardjieva). The paper will present the forthcoming conclusions of a qualitative, exploratory inquiry forgoing our planned quantitative survey of the Czech population: the inquiry is based on 22 semi-structured qualitative interviews (age 15+) where one half of the interviewees are residents of small towns and villages and the other half are residents of large cities. As interviewees we have chosen people expressing certain level of political or public engagement and the analysis focuses on their motivations for the participation and on the role of media in it. As the current researches suggest that the online and offline participation are intertwined and that people politically active in the online environments tend to be engaged offline, our aim is to understand these connections more deeply. Our data suggest that the new media should be conceived rather as a specific part of the whole story than as the exclusive or somehow central force. The interviewees’ motivations seem to be firmly situated in everyday contexts of their lives and surrounding social milieus and to be structured by social and cultural capital and that the uses new media are consequent to these motivations. To put it simply: the interviewees use the new media as any other tool in their practices and take advantage of their affordances, but they do not experience or reflect the new media as central to their offline public activities. In other words, we do not encounter any radical, new-media-driven transformation of participatory practices: we document rather subtle shifts in the area and pragmatic encounters of the f2f communication and of traditional media (local radios, bulletin boards) with the new communication technologies.
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