Reluctance to Talk About Politics in Face-to-Face and Facebook Settings: Examining the Impact of Fear of Isolation, Willingness to Self-Censor, and Peer Network Characteristics
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AbstractThis study examines citizens’ willingness to publicly express support for a political party or candidate face-to-face and on Facebook during an election. Findings from a survey showed that fear of social isolation (FSI) exhibited a negative indirect effect on public expression about the election through willingness to self-censor (WTSC) for both communication environments. The indirect effect through WTSC was contingent on perceived political disagreement within homophilous peer networks contributing to a hostile opinion climate. Moreover, in face-to-face interactions those with higher levels of FSI were less likely to express support in heterogeneous offline networks with high levels of disagreement but were more likely to do so in homophilous networks that share similar political views. The study demonstrates the utility of combining a dispositional approach and friendship-based reference groups to the examination of key spiral of silence mechanisms at the individual level.
All Author(s) ListCHAN Che Ming
Journal nameMass Communication and Society
Volume Number21
Issue Number1
Pages1 - 23
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2019-10-11 at 03:36