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  • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Fear of Isolation, , , , Momentum, Moral Issues, , , , Opinion Issues, , , Public Opinion, , , , , , Social Isolation, , , , , , , , Visible Momentum,   

    Spiral of Silence 

    Does social media end the spiral of silence? Probably not, but it might lessen its impact; http://eicker.at/SpiralOfSilence

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:34 on 25. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      RFERL: “Social Media And Ending ‘The Spiral Of Silence’ – There’s been a spate of good pieces on digital activism recently. ‘Technology Review‘ had a great story on the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, detailing all the ways activists used social networking (among other online and offline tools) to get people out on the streets. – There was also an interesting piece in ‘The New York Times‘ reporting on a new paper that argued that social-networking tools can ‘make you passive, can sap your initiative, (and) leave you content to watch the spectacle of life from your couch or smartphone.’ This wasn’t an exercise in moral techno-panics (this is your brain on social media!), but looked at how, in the eyes of the report’s author, social media actually kept people off the streets during the Egyptian crisis. Or: Full connectivity in a social network sometimes can hinder collective action… When people think of social media and revolutions, I think the tendency is to think solely of activists organizing rallies on Twitter and Facebook (they do do that too.) But more important seems to be the way that social media and shared cell phone video footage help in building a shared consciousness, or as Tufekci calls it a ‘visible momentum.’

      Tufekci, TR: “New Media and the People-Powered UprisingsAnother key dynamic is what’s known as ‘preference falsification’ to political scientists and ‘pluralistic ignorance’ to social psychologists: when people privately hold a particular view but do not share it in fear of reprisal, punishment, or violating a social norm. In autocracies, this can cause a ‘spiral of silence‘ in which many wish for regime change, but are afraid to speak up outside of few trusted ties. … It is in this context Facebook ‘likes’ of dissident pages such as ‘We are All Khaled Said,’ sharing of videos of regime brutality, online expressions of political anger, and acceptances of Facebook ‘invitations’ to protest all matter as they help build a visible momentum which, itself, is a condition of success. A public is not created just because everyone individually holds an opinion but because there is multi-level awareness of other people’s views leading to a spiral of action and protest. (I know that you know that I know that you know that we know …). – That is why the new media ecology is a game-changer and that is exactly the process John Pollock’s extensive on-the-ground reporting unravels.There has been a false debate. Was it social media or the people? Was it social media or the labor movements? Was it social media or anti-imperialist movement? Was it social media or youth? These questions are wrong and the answer is yes. The correct question is how.

      UT: “Neumann (1974) introduced the ‘spiral of silence’ as an attempt to explain in part how public opinion is formed. She wondered why the Germans supported wrong political positions that led to national defeat, humiliation and ruin in the 1930s-1940s. … The closer a person believes the opinion held is similar to the prevailing public opinion, the more they are willing to openly disclose that opinion in public. Then, if public sentiment changes, the person will recognize that the opinion is less in favor and will be less willing to express that opinion publicly. As the perceived distance between public opinion and a person’s personal opinion grows, the more unlikely the person is to express their opinion.

      Wikipedia: “The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. The theory asserts that a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the majority. … The spiral of silence begins with fear of reprisal or isolation, and escalates from there. The fear of isolation is the centrifugal force that accelerates the spiral of silence. Individuals use what is described as ‘an innate ability’ or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion. The Mass media play a large part in determining what the dominant opinion is, since our direct observation is limited to a small percentage of the population. The mass media have an enormous impact on how public opinion is portrayed, and can dramatically impact an individual’s perception about where public opinion lies, whether or not that portrayal is factual. Noelle-Neumann describes the spiral of silence as a dynamic process, in which predictions about public opinion become fact as mass media’s coverage of the majority opinion becomes the status quo, and the minority becomes less likely to speak out. The theory, however, only applies to moral or opinion issues, not issues that can be proven right or wrong using facts (if there, in fact, exists a distinction between fact and value).

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:08 on 2. September 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Social Isolation, , , ,   

    Real vs. Virtual Life? 

    Korolov: If we isolate ourselves completely we will be able to see what a truly real life feels like; http://j.mp/aElIAU

  • Gerrit Eicker 13:33 on 5. November 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Social Isolation, , , , , ,   

    Social Isolation 

    Pew study: The Internet is associated with larger, more diverse networks, not with social isolation; http://j.mp/4yzvhz

    • Gerrit Eicker 13:36 on 5. November 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Social media activities are associated with several beneficial social activities, including having discussion networks that are more likely to contain people from different backgrounds. For instance, frequent internet users, and those who maintain a blog are much more likely to confide in someone who is of another race. Those who share photos online are more likely to report that they discuss important matters with someone who is a member of another political party. – When we examine people’s full personal network – their strong ties and weak ties – internet use in general and use of social networking services such as Facebook in particular are associated with having a more diverse social network. Again, this flies against the notion that technology pulls people away from social engagement. – Some have worried that internet use limits people’s participation in their local communities, but we find that most internet activities have little or a positive relationship to local activity. For instance, internet users are as likely as anyone else to visit with their neighbors in person. Cell phone users, those who use the internet frequently at work, and bloggers are more likely to belong to a local voluntary association, such as a youth group or a charitable organization. However, we find some evidence that use of social networking services (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn) substitutes for some neighborhood involvement. – Internet use does not pull people away from public places. Rather, it is associated with engagement in places such as parks, cafes, and restaurants, the kinds of locales where research shows that people are likely to encounter a wider array of people and diverse points of view. Indeed, internet access has become a common component of people’s experiences within many public spaces. For instance, of those Americans who have been in a library within the past month, 38% logged on to the internet while they were there, 18% have done so in a café or coffee shop.

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