University of Twente Student Theses


The Impact of Education on Online Participation : Does education make the difference?

Seger, Kaja (2017) The Impact of Education on Online Participation : Does education make the difference?

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Abstract:One of the key elements of democracy is participation. Although traditional participation in European democracies is stated to be decreasing, new participation forms establish. The internet was long seen as a potential remedy for low political participation albeit the expectations were not (yet) fulfilled. The question remains who participates? In The Netherlands, it is argued that participation is predominantly determined by education. Following the argumentation line of Bovens & Wille (2009), higher educated people are overrepresented in political institutions and activities in The Netherlands. This study expands the research on a 'diploma democracy' to the online participation, in social media in particular. Furthermore, possible reasons of why education matters are examined. Education is expected to foster characteristics like political knowledge, internal efficacy and political interest, that later affect the likelihood of engaging online. Surprisingly, education does not directly influence online participation. Education only indirectly influences online participation over political interest and internal efficacy. Moreover, age seems to stimulate the probability to use social media for political participation – younger people are more likely to make use the internet as participation form. A 'rising meritocracy' which is claimed by Bovens & Wille (2009) can thus not be observed in regard to online participation forms in The Netherlands.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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