Is Cross-Network Segregation a Factor of Political Behavior and Political Identification in the Russian Student Community?
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Online segregation is among the most commonly discussed phenomenon. This paper calls into question the need to focus on the dangers of echo chambers, filter bubbles; furthermore, it proposes to identify latent factors of the Internet segmentation and specify communication in homophilic communities. Thus, the current study aims to detect the mutual influence of social network choice and political behavior among Russian students. The study is based on empirical data obtained by a survey conducted in 2018 in St. Petersburg. Our research has revealed that students are a heterogeneous group. The identified four factors described as “Web-services for full-grown people,” “Mobile services,” “Closed silo of content,” “Audiovisual services” disclose hidden relationships between quite different online services and political identification of students.
KeywordsSocial networks Cyberspace fragmentation Political behavior Political identity Cross-network segregation
For the empirical part, we utilized facilities provided by the Center for Sociological and Internet Research at Saint-Petersburg State University (project 106-9131 “The factors of absenteeism development among students in a Russian metropolis (as in the example of St. Petersburg)”). The theoretical part of the reported study was funded by RFBR and EISR according to the research project № 19-011-31551 “Manageability and discourse of virtual communities in the context of post-factual politics”.
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