Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Elena Gapova
Dr. Barry Goetz
Dr. Whitney Gunter
engagement, civic, internet use, sociology, mass society
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.
Purdy, "The Internet and Mass Society: Civic Engagement in the Digital Age" (2013). Master's Theses. 134.