Cover image for Tweeting to power : the social media revolution in American politics
Tweeting to power : the social media revolution in American politics
Gainous, Jason, 1971-

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xi, 190 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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Book 0342633 JA85.2.U6 G35 2014 Central Campus Library

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Online social media are changing the face of politics in the United States. Beginning with a strong theoretical foundation grounded in political, communications and psychology literature, Tweeting to Power examines the effect of online social media on how people come to learn, understand and engage in politics. Gainous and Wagner propose that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer the opportunity for a new information flow that is no longer being structured and limited by the popular media. Television and newspapers, which were traditionally the sole or primary gatekeeper, can no longer limit or govern what information is exchanged. By lowering the cost of both supplying the information and obtaining it, social networking applications have recreated how, when and where people are informed.

To establish this premise, Gainous and Wagner analyze multiple datasets, quantitative and qualitative, exploring and measuring the use of social media by voters and citizens as well as the strategies and approaches adopted by politicians and elected officials. They illustrate how these new and growing online communities are new forums for the exchange of information that is governed by relationships formed and maintained outside traditional media. Using empirical measures, they prove both how candidates utilize Twitter to shape the information voters rely upon and how effective this effort was at garnering votes in the 2010 congressional elections. With both theory and data, Gainous and Wagner show how the social media revolution is creating a new paradigm for political communication and shifting the very foundation of the political process.

Table of Contents

List of Figures in Chaptersp. viii
List of Tables in Chaptersp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
1 Social Media-The New Dinner Table?p. 1
2 Evolution or Revolution-Why Facebook and Twitter Matter?p. 20
3 Public Opinion 2.0-Read My Feedp. 38
4 Congress 2.0-Internet-Style Politicsp. 49
5 Congress 2.0-Who's Tweeting?p. 76
6 Public Opinion 2.0-The New Social Capitalp. 93
7 Congress 2.0-Controlling the Flow of Informationp. 106
8 Public Opinion 2.0-The Direct Conduitp. 119
9 Congress 2.0-Tweeting for Supportp. 136
10 Social Media Tomorrow-Tweeting the Future?p. 150
Appendixp. 161
Notesp. 165
Referencesp. 171
Indexp. 187