It’s not cricket: examining political discussion in nonpolitical online space
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Democracy | Participation | Politics and Political Science | Social Media & Social Software
Scholars of digital democracy share enthusiasm about the potential the Internet provides for democratic communication among citizens. Many applaud the prospect of an expanded, digital, public sphere; others are more cautious about whether the Internet may foster deliberative democracy. We attempt to provide a third alternative view by (1) focusing on everyday political talk in nonpolitical online forums and (2) expanding research beyond a singular deliberative model to attend to multiple frameworks for democratic discussion online. In this paper, we examine online political discussion of six globally prominent political issues in two transnational cricket forums. Our findings suggest that deliberative discussion coexists with liberal individualist and communitarian forms of communication in online sports forums. We discuss the implications of our findings for the future of mediated political discussion research.