chapter  7
18 Pages

Contexts of civic communication at the local, national and global levels

ByBridgette Wessels

This chapter describes and discusses the way that civic participation and the use of social media are, to some degree, context-specific. It describes and discusses some particular cases, to illustrate each of these types of situated activity and contexts. A wide range of social media platforms are used for civic communication at all levels, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube, and their content varies from a 140-character tweet to videos and image memes. Although social media may offer new opportunities to support civic participation and develop a more dynamic political culture, this potential can only be realised through the ways it is used and activated in specific contexts. The characteristics of the forms and content of civic communication at local, national and international levels are predominantly issue-based, whereby individuals, civic community groups and various types of protest movements seek to express concern and mobilise action around a specific topic.