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Social media and (non)democracy: The analysis of daily Facebook use by political opposition in Belarus
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies, JMK.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The recent growth of social media and other internet technologies is believed to diminish the control of political elites over information flows and enable citizens to be active participants of political processes. Practice shows, however, that this general tendency acquires different forms in different geopolitical contexts. This master thesis intends to investigate how social media are used for the purposes of daily communication of political opposition in Belarus, where dominant traditional media channels are monopolized by the government. The analysis involves mixed approach methodology, which combines content analysis of Facebook posts of Belarusian opposition representatives and qualitative interviews with them. The research articulates an important role of social media in Belarus as one of a few mediums where opposition politicians can exist without pervasive control of authorities. However, the results show that the presence of opposition on social media doesn't necessarily increase their chances to gain political weight or activates civic participation in the country. The effectiveness of their communication is to a large extent predefined by social and political environment in the country. A practical implication of the study is that potentially effective directions for political communication of Belarusian opposition have been outlined. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 98
Keywords [en]
Social media, prosumption, traditional media, media power, authoritarian regime, democracy, civil society, civic participation, digital political communication, political opposition.
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157027OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157027DiVA, id: diva2:1214362
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Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-04 Created: 2018-06-06 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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