Online Social Ties and Political Engagement

Rachel K. Gibson, Ian McAllister

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    While positive effects of social interaction on political participation have been widely confirmed, questions have been raised about whether the relationship holds in the online environment. This article uses data from the 2007 Australian Election Study to address this debate by testing whether greater online social interaction predicts increased political engagement, and whether this differs for interactions within homogenous (bonding) versus heterogeneous (bridging) networks. The findings show that bonding, and not bridging, online social contact predicts offline participation, suggesting that online interactions that do not build on existing offline networks are not as effective in mobilizing "real world" participation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-34
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


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