Center for Political Communication looks at civic engagement
Lee Rainie


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8:30 a.m., Oct. 28, 2010----Does “liking” a political candidate on Facebook make you a politically engaged citizen? Is the Internet redefining political participation? Are voters driven to the polls by emotional appeals? Who texts about politics, and what do they hope to gain from it? Are younger people more likely than older ones to engage in politics through the Internet? Whose online voice is loudest? Are Republicans really more enthusiastic about politics this year than Democrats?

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These are just some of the questions University of Delaware faculty and students are exploring with unprecedented research being made public during a presentation at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Room 125 of Clayton Hall, under the title “Civic Engagement 2.0: Emotions, Perceptions, and Participation in Online Politics.”

The project, the first funded interdisciplinary scholarship to emerge since UD's designation by Bloomberg News as the “epicenter of politics,” is supported by UD's Center for Political Communication.

The event will feature special guest Lee Rainie, director of the national Internet and American Life Project at the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

UD's research panel includes Lindsay Hoffman and Danna Young, both assistant professors in the Department of Communication, and Philip Edward Jones, assistant professor, and Julio Carrion, associate professor, both in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Student panelists will be Paige Barton and Bill Humphrey.

The faculty panelists will present results from their unique research experiment examining online political participation and the use of emotional appeals in political campaigns.

The student panelists will share their campaign experiences and discuss how the Internet and social media were used to attract voters.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Clayton Hall before the event. Light refreshments will be provided.