- José Marichal, California Lutheran University, USA
In July 2010, Facebook had over 500 million subscribers worldwide and the rapid rise of the site prompted Time magazine to name Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg its person of the year for 2010. This novel book advances our understanding of how democratic citizens are transformed by the "Facebook revolution". Despite increasing interest in politics and popular media, there has been little academic work on the impact of Facebook on politics in general, and on democratic processes in particular. The work that does exist has been limited to Facebook's impact on politics as a mobilization tool used by social movement activists.
In this book, José Marichal argues that understanding Facebook's impact on political processes requires an understanding of how Facebook's architecture of disclosure shapes the construction of individuals' political identities by drawing users further into their pre-selected social networks. Drawing on a number of disciplines and an ethnographic analysis of 250 Facebook political groups, Marichal explores how Facebook's emphasis on social connection impacts key dimensions of political participation: e.g., mobilization, deliberation, and attitude formation.
Contents: Introduction: the allure of Facebook; Facebook and the utopian/dystopian dialectic; Facebook and the architecture of disclosure; Facebook and the decline of the public; The personal citizen; Engagement as personal citizens; The digital front stage and deliberation; Facebook and mobilization: beyond the Facebook revolution; Privacy in the age of personal politics; Friending the nation-state: social networking and power; Conclusions: how to listen on Facebook; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: José Marichal is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at California Lutheran University, USA.
Reviews: ‘Conceptualizing Facebook (and social media more generally) as architectures that structure political behavior is an original way of examining what difference social media make. This study provides fresh insights about both the problems and potential offered by these new communication tools.’
Karen Mossberger, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
‘A fascinating and much needed account of how online connectedness and disclosure impact mobilization, deliberation, engagement, friendship, privacy and more. A must read for all those interested in the breathtaking changes that the Internet, and particularly social media, introduces to both public and private domains of our everyday experiences.’
Azi Lev-On, Ariel University Centre, Israel
'Marichal’s book is important and makes a significant contribution to the field of mobile media and politics.'
Mobile Media and Communication
'Facebook Democracy is a thought-provoking and essential book that helps facilitate our understanding of how the Internet is changing the political world.'
Political Science Quarterly
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