Internet politics online campaign
The past eight years have seen a great increase in Internet usage in American culture and politics. It would seem that, in our digital age, the Internet has exercised strong effects on political behavior and even on legislators. This thesis explores the variety and intensity of these effects, finding them to be substantial and growing, although not yet robust. The main influences the net has exerted on American politics take place predominantly within two areas: political campaigns and online political interest groups. Activists are certainly using the Internet for political causes, but this sort of Internet usage is really just an extension of previous activism. The Internet does not create new habits; it simply offers a more convenient method of reading the news, communicating to others, or performing other activities we have already been inclined to perform. Even those Internet users who access political web sites are shown preeminently to be those who have otherwise accessed political information in other ways such as newspapers or televised news. So far the Internet has made campaign donations easier for people who are comfortable surfing the World Wide Web. But there is little evidence to show that these people would not have otherwise donated to the campaign by more traditional methods. The Internet has made political activism easier, but people who are not politically active will not suddenly change simply because the Internet offers itself as an expedient, inexpensive tool. We have seen, however, with groups like MoveOn.org, that activists are rallying, communicating, and demonstrating more efficiently than ever before. The political parties or groups that can most effectively use the Internet to mobilize voters and affect public opinion will greatly benefit themselves.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Gaar, Noah David,, "The Internet And The American Political System" (2004). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 28.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2004; it will then be open access.