New-media social networks, issue networks, and policy communities : getting and using power
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Martin, Terrance F.
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SubjectFacebook (Electronic resource); Online social networks; Pressure groups; Policy networks; Countervailing power; Policy sciences; Power (Social sciences); Capital (B.C.); Action research (Research methodology)
This PAR project used applied communications to get and use power to influence public policy. Informed by social and policy network theories, the method used Facebook as an organizing tool to create and position a recreation issue network in tension with an environmental policy community, exploring the concepts of layering, conversion, exhaustion, policy image, and venue change in an effort to influence policy. The introduction of a new-media social network as a competing influence in a policy network was an innovation, and demonstrated that the “strength of weak ties” may have implications for policy-making. The study concluded that a Facebook group was an efficient and effective organizing tool, capable of organizing an issue network and disrupting the status quo; however, the tightly coupled nature of a policy community makes it highly resilient to outside influence and an issue network may not gain sufficient influence to change policy. Keywords: Facebook, new-media social network, policy community, issue network, policy image, venue manipulation, layering, conversion, exhaustion
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