Third Space, Social Media, and Everyday Political Talk

Authored by: Scott Wright , Todd Graham , Dan Jackson

The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  December  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138860766
eBook ISBN: 9781315716299
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506560


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Thanks to its ubiquity, social media is increasingly being used by governments, politicians, activists, and citizens for political purposes. As such, the dynamics of political communication and civic engagement in these communicative spaces and networks have become a central nub of concern for scholars across a range of disciplines. As will be shown in more detail below, much scholarly attention in this sphere focuses on the activities of political elites in their attempts to communicate with the masses, or on how activists and social movements utilize social media to pursue their goals. The focus is therefore on the dynamics of communication and engagement on social media in clearly political settings and often involving explicitly political actors. While much of this research has emphasized the potential of online spaces and networks for political knowledge-sharing, interpersonal deliberation and coordinated collective action, we maintain that it ignores the ‘everydayness’ of political communication and engagement and the networks where such talk emerges. We argue for the adoption of a more expansive notion of political talk: one that embraces the vernacular, expressive, and porous characteristics of everyday public speech.

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