Challenges of Online Participation: Digital Inequality in Party-Internal Processes

Thuermer, Gefion
ISSN der Zeitschrift
Weizenbaum Institute

Parties adopt online participation methods in the hope of engaging a wider group of participants. However, literature on the digital divide suggests that this is unlikely to happen, as online participa-tion remains dependent on the same factors as offline participation: income, class, education. Based on a mixed methods study of members of the Green Party Germany, this paper discusses the expected and actual effects of online participation tools on the participation of party members. Expectations are that these tools will benefit nearly everyone, but in practice, the goal to engage inactive members is only partially achieved: Younger members and those with lower educational attainments are mo-bilised, but women are not. These effect differ depending on the type of technology. I argue that this is an expression of the prevailing digital divide, which needs to consider not only a socio-demo-graphic divisions, but also the multifaceted effects of different technologies.

News media, journalism, publishing \ Political science \ Interactive, electronic Media \ Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture \ membership \ political communication \ mobilization \ political activity \ Federal Republic of Germany \ Alliance 90/ The Greens \ political participation \ online media \ digital divide \ inequality \ Politikwissenschaft \ Publizistische Medien, Journalismus,Verlagswesen \ online participation \ party-internal participation \ Digital Inequalities \ reinforcement \ interaktive, elektronische Medien \ politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur \ Bundesrepublik Deutschland \ politische Aktivität \ Digitale Spaltung \ Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen \ Mitgliedschaft \ Mobilisierung \ politische Kommunikation \ Ungleichheit \ Online-Medien \ politische Partizipation
Verwandte Ressource
Verwandte Ressource
Thuermer, G. (2019). Challenges of Online Participation: Digital Inequality in Party-Internal Processes. Proceedings of the Weizenbaum Conference 2019: Challenges of Digital Inequality, 8–17.