The power of political talk: how and when it mobilizes politically efficacious citizens’ campaign activity during elections

Hye Min Kim, Young Min Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Political communication scholarship has investigated the mobilization effect of citizens’ political discursive behaviors during elections. With the recent advent of SNSs Social Networking Sites (SNSs) in the political communication environment, citizens’ discursive behaviors on SNSs have received increasing academic attention. This study examines (1) whether offline political talk mediates the relationship between political self-efficacy and election campaign activity (a type of political participation); (2) whether its mediation effect differs from that of SNS political talk; and (3) how those mediation effects vary according to citizens’ endorsed political ideologies. The results reveal that the effects of both offline and SNS political talk are statistically significant among conservatives, liberals, and moderates. Interestingly, the mediation effect of SNS political talk was substantially larger among liberals than among conservatives or moderates (i.e. a moderated mediation effect), while the effect of offline political talk was consistent across all three ideological groups. This study demonstrates that the electoral mobilization effect of SNSs is ideology-dependent, and is particularly based on the mismatch between SNS users’ political ideology and the current government's political orientation. Implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-280
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 4

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networking
campaign
election
citizen
Communication
mediation
political communication
political ideology
mobilization
election campaign
political behavior
political attitude
political participation
mismatch
self-efficacy
ideology
Group

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "Political communication scholarship has investigated the mobilization effect of citizens’ political discursive behaviors during elections. With the recent advent of SNSs Social Networking Sites (SNSs) in the political communication environment, citizens’ discursive behaviors on SNSs have received increasing academic attention. This study examines (1) whether offline political talk mediates the relationship between political self-efficacy and election campaign activity (a type of political participation); (2) whether its mediation effect differs from that of SNS political talk; and (3) how those mediation effects vary according to citizens’ endorsed political ideologies. The results reveal that the effects of both offline and SNS political talk are statistically significant among conservatives, liberals, and moderates. Interestingly, the mediation effect of SNS political talk was substantially larger among liberals than among conservatives or moderates (i.e. a moderated mediation effect), while the effect of offline political talk was consistent across all three ideological groups. This study demonstrates that the electoral mobilization effect of SNSs is ideology-dependent, and is particularly based on the mismatch between SNS users’ political ideology and the current government's political orientation. Implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.",
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