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The myth of social media: A qualitative study of deliberation and power in Facebook-pages of the Swedish Police
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Media and Journalism.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Myten om sociala medier : En kvalitativ studie av deliberativitet och maktutövning på Polisens Facebook-sidor (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to discuss the use of social media by the Swedish Police for democratic purposes. The idea of citizen empowerment is closely related to the development of new communication technologies such as social media. Yet many studies indicate that governmental institutions rarely make use of the assumed potentials of social media.

In this study, the democratic potential of social media is derived from Habermas normative concept of deliberative participation. Operational definitions emphasize discursive equality, interactive reciprocity and external impact. The analytical framework is combined with qualitative text analysis to highlight the conditions of interaction between representatives of the Police and citizens.

In conclusion: the democratic potential of social media, from a Habermasian point of view, is to a significant extent neglected at the expense of its strategic advantages. In fact, the promise of interactive reciprocity obscures the passivisation and disempowerment of citizens. However, the study is limited to a specific sphere of influence and does not account for other forms of citizen participation made possible with social media or modern ICT.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 41 p.
Keyword [sv]
Deliberativitet, Habermas, sociala medier, Polisen, myndighet, Facebook, moderator, strategisk kommunikation
National Category
Communication Studies Media Studies Human Aspects of ICT
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-28881OAI: diva2:648410
Subject / course
Media and Communications Science
Educational program
Public Relations and Communication Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2014-10-24 Created: 2013-09-16 Last updated: 2014-10-24Bibliographically approved

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