Social Media and Politics
A New Way to Participate in the Political Process
by Glenn W. Richardson Jr., Editor
November 2016, 567pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3950-4
$180, £134, 150€, A258
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3951-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

How have popular forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter influenced the political process in the United States?

This two-volume set explores the various ways social media are profoundly changing politics in America.

The last decade has seen dramatic changes in the U.S. political process. The advent of social media and other new forms of expression have enabled an unprecedented number of citizens to enter the political arena by expressing their opinions about issues and candidates in ways that can influence untold numbers of voters and officials. But the vast majority of politicians have not fully grasped how social media has fundamentally changed the process of communication or adjusted to the dramatic shift in political power that is taking place.

Written by experts on the intersections of politics, public opinion, and popular culture, this book examines how new media have brought political “power to the people” like never before, provided new channels through which politicians communicate and attempt to influence public opinion, and caused a game-changing shift in political power. Volume one focuses on how savvy politicians are learning to communicate in new ways via new media in order to enhance their political appeal. The second volume examines the various ways in which individuals or groups who use new/social media are affecting voters’ decisions, applying pressure to elected or appointed officials, and influencing the direction of the country.

Features

  • Covers key political and cultural issues in today's discourse—such as gay marriage, race, gender, "big data," and hyper-surveillance—from a variety of perspectives and a broad range of contributors
  • Provides informed analysis of social media eruptions and their potential to change and shape political discourse
  • Supplies an analysis of power that highlights the forgotten core of politics and political communication
Glenn W. Richardson Jr., PhD, teaches courses in American government, the American presidency, American political thought, constitutional law, American political parties, and public opinion at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. His areas of specialization include American government (especially the presidency) and political communication, specifically campaigns and elections, political advertising, social media, and news coverage of politics. His published work includes the book Pulp Politics: How Political Advertising Tells the Stories of American Politics, the chapter on political advertising in Communication in U.S. Elections: New Agendas, the article "Media Literacy and Political Communication" in The Journal of Media Literacy, and the article "Ad Watch 3.0: Developing Audiovisual and Narrative Techniques for Engaging the Audiovisual Content of Political Advertising," published in POROI, an online peer-reviewed journal. Richardson's research has also been published in Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Communication, Political Communication, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, American Communication Journal, Political Research Quarterly, and New Media and Society (forthcoming). His work has also been featured in The New York Times.

Awards

Outstanding Academic Title, 2017—Choice, January 1, 2018

Reviews

"These studies construct a body of knowledge that painstakingly establishes social media as an influential and now expected part of today’s political communications infrastructure, a continually evolving tool that candidates and political organizations need to know how to use effectively and responsibly."—ARBA, March 13, 2017

"The collection also offers a broad scope of topics and offers readers access and opportunities to consider some major dynamics at the intersection of politics and social media today. What they reveal is a changed and changing political landscape that leaves the public with at least two options: adapt to the changes or be left behind and thus civically excluded. Social Media and Politics is a must read for scholars and students in communication, media studies, journalism, political science, and sociology. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."—Choice, July 1, 2017

"The studies provide a valuable resource on the development of social media. The sometimes copious notes will be helpful to researchers seeking more on the subject. Graphs and tables provide clarity, and the indexes are helpful. VERDICT A worthwhile text for high school and college students and those interested in the growth of social media and politics."—Library Journal, March 15, 2017
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