Advertisement

Understanding TwitterTM Use among Parliament Representatives: A Genre Analysis

  • Øystein Sæbø
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6847)

Abstract

This article examines parliament representatives’ Twitter- contributions (tweets). First, the genre of communication approach is introduced to identify common characteristics and communication patterns. Second, the findings are analysed using various eDemocracy models and deliberative standards to identify to what extent these tweets could be characterized as part of a deliberative discussion. The tweets are mainly dominated by five communication purposes; providing links to information sources for other Twitter users, to inform about the representative’s ongoing activities, to express views on topical issues, introducing non-political (private) content and participating in online discussions with other parliament representatives. Other less frequent communication patterns include tweets attracting attention to the representative’s own blogs, requests for input from readers and finally discussions with citizens. The analysed tweets generally did not meet deliberative standards and are dominated by politicians disseminating information and discussing with other parliament representatives. We conclude by arguing that the parliament representatives’ Twitter use is linked to the Liberal Democracy model, where the main purpose is to disseminate information to electors, and provide information on ongoing activities to the audience.

Keywords

Twitter eParticipation Parliament representatives genre of communication Democracy models 

References

  1. 1.
    Baumgartner, J.C., Morris, J.S.: MyFaceTube Politics. Social Science Computer Review 28(1), 24–44 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tocqueville, A.d., Mill, J.S.: Democracy in America: in two volumes with a critical appraisal of each volume by John Stuart Mill1961, p. 2b. Schocken Books, New York (1961)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Yates, J., Orlikowski, W.J.: Genres of Organizational Communication: A Structurational Approach to Studying Communication and Media. Academy of Management Review 17(2), 299–326 (1992)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Shah, D.V., et al.: Information and Expression in a Digital Age. Communication Research 32(5), 531–565 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bhatia, V.K.: Analysing genre: language use in professional settings, vol. XVI, p. 246s. Longman, London (1993)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Päivärinta, T., Sæbø, Ø.: The Genre System Lens on E-Democracy. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 20(2) (2008) Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Päivärinta, T.: The Concept of Genre within the Critical Approach to Information Systems Development. Information & Organization 11(3), 207–234 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sæbø, Ø., Flak, L.S., Sein, M.K.: Understanding the dynamics in e-Participation Initiatives: Looking through the genre and stakeholder lenses. Government Information Quarterly (forthcoming) Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sæbø, Ø., Rose, J., Skiftenes Flak, L.: The shape of eParticipation: Characterizing an emerging research area. Government Information Quarterly 25(3), 400–428 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Held, D.: Models of Democracy. Blackwell, Oxford (1996)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lively, J.: Democracy. Blackwell, Oxford (1975)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Van Dijk, J.: Models of democracy and concepts of communication. In: Hacker, K.L., Van Dijk, J. (eds.) Digital Democracy, Issues of Theory and Practice. Sage publications, London (2000)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zhang, W., et al.: The Revolution Will be Networked. Social Science Computer Review 28(1), 75–92 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Graham, T.: Needles in a haystack: a new approach for identifying and assessing political talk in non - political discussion forums. Javnost: the Public 15(2), 17–36 (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rose, J., Sæbø, Ø.: Designing Deliberation Systems. The Information Society: An International Journal 26(3), 228–240 (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Strandberg, K.: Public deliberation goes on-line? An analysis of citizens, Äô political discussions on the Internet prior to the Finnish parliamentary elections in 2007. Javnost-The Public 15(1) (2008)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rose, J., Sæbø, Ø.: Democracy Squared: designing on-line political communities to accommodate conflicting interests. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 17(2) (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Päivärinta, T., Sæbø, Ø.: Models of E-Democracy. Communications of the Association for Information Systems 17, 818–840 (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ihlström, C.: The Evolution of a New(s) Genre. Gothenburg Studies in Informatics 2004, p. 162. Göteborg University, Gothenburg (2004)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Orlikowski, W.J., Yates, J.: Genre repertoire: The structuring of Communicative Practices in Organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 39, 541–574 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kwasnik, B.H., Crowston, K.: Introduction to the special issue: Genres of digital documents. Information Technology & People 18(2), 89 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yates, J., Orlikowski, W.J., Okamura, K.: Explicit and Implicit Structuring of Genres in Electronic Communication: Reinforcement and Change of Social Interaction. Organization Science 10(1), 83–103 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dahl, R.A.: Democracy and its critics 1989, vol. VIII, p. 397s. Yale University Press, New Haven (1989)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Eriksen, E.O., Weigård, J.: Kommunikativ handling og deliberativt demokrati: Jürgen Habermas’ teori om politikk og samfunn, p. 340s. Fagbokforl, Bergen (1999)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pateman, C.: Participation and democratic theory, p. 122. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1970)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gimmler, A.: Deliberative democracy, the public sphere and the internet. Philosophy Social Criticism 27(4), 21–39 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Java, A., et al.: Why we twitter: understanding microblogging usage and communities. In: Proceedings of the 9th WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD 2007 Workshop on Web Mining and Social Network Analysis, pp. 56–65. ACM, San Jose (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Silverman, D.: Interpreting Qualitative Data. Sage, London (2001)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Berelson, B.: Content Analysis In Communicative Research. Free Press, New York (1952)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wilkinson, S.: Focus group research. In: Silverman, D. (ed.) Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice, pp. 177–199. Sage, London (1997)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Markus, M.L., Robey, D.: Information Technology and Organizational Change: Causal Structure in Theory and Research. Management Science 34(5), 583–598 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Orlikowski, W.J., Iacono, S.: Research commentary: Desperately seeking IT in IT Research - A Call to Theorizing the IT Artifact. Information Systems Research 12(2), 121 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Øystein Sæbø
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AgderNorway

Personalised recommendations