Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elena Gapova

Second Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Third Advisor

Dr. Whitney Gunter


engagement, civic, internet use, sociology, mass society

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In this study, the relationship between Internet use and civic engagement is examined. Building off of the work of previous researchers, which has found no clear relationship between Internet use and civic engagement, this analysis attempts to find differences between those who are civically engaged at different levels, in terms of Internet use, types of civic engagement and feelings of being able to affect change through civic engagement. Several hypotheses about this relationship are tested using data collected from undergraduate students at a medium sized Midwestern university with an online survey method. The statistical analysis entails building a series of regression models to predict the civic engagement of these students. The findings are interpreted using the theoretical concept of a mass society, in order to see if Internet use appears to support or detract from civic participation, and what the consequences of this relationship may be. This study offers insights that can contribute to our understanding of how developments in modern technology are shaping and influencing our social and political landscapes.