Internet and Political Attitudes

Internet and political attitudes: perspective of elections in Mexico in 2012 Manuel A. Guerrero, Luis M. Martinez Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Communications, Ciudad de Mexico The lack of participation in democratic processes is gaining attention along with a worldwide-diminished interest in public matters. Such characteristics are becoming a distinctive mark of a significant proportion of population in the democratic world (Dalton 2002, Putnam 2001). However, since 1990s, authors such as Negroponte (1995) and Wellman (1997), have been pointing out that ITCs and mainly the Internet are nabling new possibilities of participation.

Due to better availability and improved information access. In England, it is reported that at the surrounding area of the University of Leeds the Internet is helping their inhabitants to improve a number of skills and abilities, such as a faster acquisition of information and a sense of exigency to political representatives originated in their online communities. This paper shows evidence of the dimension of such population characteristics in Mexico. According to recent statistics, more than 64% of population lack of interest in olitics and 72. % avoid discussing politics (ENCUP, 2008).

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However, current research such as the aforementioned survey, lacks of information regarding the impact of Internet. We show the experimental results of enriching the ENCUP (Encuesta Nacional sobre Cultura Politica y Pr?¤cticas Ciudadanas, National Survey on Political Culture and Citizenship) results with those of the National Survey of Youth (ENJUVE). As a result of the experiment, we discuss how the use of Internet promotes more interest in politics and social participation, focusing in Mexico.

Finally, we discuss the ffect of Internet use in observed changes in confidence of politicians and their political parties. When talking about democracy in the modern world, one of the most obvious concerns has to do with the evident lack of engagement and concern from the population in public affairs (Dalton 2002; Putnam 2001). However, since mid 1990’s, some authors (Negroponte 1995; Wellman 1997) have indicated that the new communications technologies, especially Internet, open greater possibilities of engagement and information entries.

Also, in the adjacent areas to Leeds University, England, Coleman, Morrison and Svennevig (2008) show how the Internet use among population allows them to develop certain abilities, like faster information gathering, and certain meaning of demand against their political representatives beginning with community creation. This assignment pretends to show some evidence or the case in Mexico, a country where, according to the 2008 ENCUP (Encuesta Nacional sobre Cultura Politica y Practicas Ciudadanas, National Survey on Political Culture politics and 72. stays clear or simply keep their feeling to themselves when tarting to talk about politics. Since this survey lacks data on internet use, this survey takes as starting point the 2005 Youth National Survey (IMJUVE) and through an experiment based on survey and follow through discuss if in Mexico, Internet use stimulates the concern and engagement in politics; and the use of internet, favors the degree of trust in politicians and the political parties.

Methodology Mexico’s case is interesting to prove certain hypothesis about the use of Internet and political attitudes given the low degrees of concern and involvement that have typified this society. Above all, we must point out that we forgo to talk or subscribe an explicit technological determinism in which the mere technology availability leads almost by necessity to their smart functions.

At the beginning of the 1980’s, De Sola Pool (1983) developed the concept of “Soft technological determinism” to refer to the way in which technological development interacts with other factors so they can influence the users. Therefore, the technology impact is neither one-way nor immediate (De Sola Pool, 1983: 5). This is based on a rather obvious premise: broadcasting of communication instruments remotely helps he freedom to notify and, however, its monopolization and shortage act against this freedom.

This is crucial, because what is being emphasized is the fact that the problem is not technology itself, but its proper broadcast what helps explain that they could have a better use in the public area in favor of a more lively and open society. When Rogers (1995), recaptured a tradition that began in the 1940’s, in Europe and the United States, he talked about an eligible technological “broadcast” when referring to the ways in which individuals, groups, organizations or society as a whole accept and take technology through particular uses.

Once this issue has been cleared, it is necessary to specify the way in which we proceed in this assignment to discuss aspects mentioned before, as if the use of Internet helps the concern in politics and involvement and if the use of the Internet helps the degree of trust in politicians and parties. The survey was used as method, and because it was an experimental study there was no descriptive sample. Therefore, the results and findings must be considered a base for the creation of hypothesis and, in any event, as general trends pointer instead of a specific interrelations pointer.