Valera Ordaz, L. (2017). “Comparing the democratic value of Facebook discussions across the profiles of Spanish political candidates during the 2011 General Election”. Revista Internacional de Sociología, 75 (1): e052. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3989/ris.2017.75.1.15.119. Disponible aquí
LThis article examines the democratic value of user generated comments on the Facebook profiles of three Spanish candidates during the Spanish General Election campaign of 2011 through a content analysis that operationalizes deliberative democracy. The findings show that
these online spaces do not meet deliberative standards, but that they still serve democratic functions, such as citizen self-expression, democratic socialization and reinforcement of social cohesion among party activists and sympathizers. Moreover, results indicate that democratic value might vary depending on the size of the party where talk takes place. Political conversation on the walls of hegemonic candidates who belong to big consolidated political parties is mostly oriented towards self-expression and features some ideological diversity, so that individuals are sporadically confronted with diversity. For its part, talk on the Facebook profile of the minor candidate lacks fundamental disagreement but includes more in-group interaction, allowing minority ideological spheres for the cultivation of social cohesion and the construction of collective narratives in favorable discursive conditions.
Deliberation; Democracy; Online discussion; Political communication; Social networks.