How are Political Consumers Engaging with Social Media?

Abstract

Understanding contemporary political identity is compelling because traditional participation like voting is in decline. Political consumerism and social media are both personalized, or seeped in one’s individual identity; and they both intertwine production and consumption. The political consumer increasingly feels responsible for shaping her own identity. Her personal consumption choices are a reflection of her political self. Likewise, social media allows users to express a variety of opinions. Scholars have uncovered connections between online media use and political consumerism and use of social media has been said to encourage political participation.
The aim here is to better understand how political consumers (consumers who choose producers and products with the goal of supporting ethical practices or changing objectionable ones) use social media to express discursive actions. The paper provides an introductory look at how political consumers are using Facebook to engage with the fan page of a well known, global food company. The paper examines two forms of communication from political consumers on this corporate Facebook page: Comments/likes left on items posted by the company, and Recent Posts by Others which allows fans of a page to post their own comments to the page, though in a separate section. The paper reflects on the possibilities that social media engagement offers for political consumers.



Author Information
Janelle Ward, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2013
Stream: Media Studies

This paper is part of the MediAsia2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by amp21