Dr. Sean Richey and Sophie Zhu explore does getting Internet access make people better citizens?

Posted On June 9, 2015
Categories News

What would happen if someone who did not have Internet access suddenly got it? Would they become more interested in politics, learn more about it and even feel more able to influence the political world?

It’s certainly plausible that the answer is yes. The Internet would seem to put lots of information about politics at your fingertips. And some academic research suggests that the Internet can make us better “digital citizens” — despite the possibility that people might simply bypass online political content in favor of entertainment like sports.

In our new study, we come to a less optimistic conclusion. We based this study on a rare opportunity: to observe directly what happens when people are given Internet access for the first time.

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Richey, Sean 20110225
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. Sean Richey
Associate Professor of Political Science
Georgia State University

 

Junyan Zhu
Political Science Doctoral Student
Georgia State University