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FSD2975 Online Deliberation of Swedish-speaking Finns 2013

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Authors

  • Strandberg, Kim (Åbo Akademi University. Social Science Research Institute)
  • Berg, Janne (Åbo Akademi University. Social Science Research Institute)

Keywords

discussion groups, internet, internet use, political behaviour, political participation, public opinion, social media, trust, values

Abstract

The survey investigated public deliberation on the Internet. The topic of the deliberation was same-sex couples' right to adoption. The aims of the study were to find out in which ways synchronous and asynchronous communication affected the nature and quality of discussion. The significance of deliberators' anonymity was also studied.

The respondents were asked about their Internet and social media use, and interest in politics and voting habits. Opinions on a number of statements about society and values were charted (e.g. "Windpower should be increased", "Euthanasia should be allowed in Finland"). Several statements relating to respondents' civic capacity, such as voting, political participation, and opportunities to influence were presented. Trust in various institutions as well as trust in other people was surveyed.

The respondents were asked how controversial they thought various issues were in Finland (e.g. immigration policy, abortion, death penalty). Finally, the respondents were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with statements that examined views and experiences of the deliberation event (e.g. "In general, the discussion was of high quality", "I was convinced by someone else's argument", "I would have rather discussed the issue non-anonymously").

Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, education, economic activity and occupational status as well as type of municipality of residence.

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