Exploring the Potential for Mobile Communications to Engender an Engaged Citizenry: A Comparative Study of University Students in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Chapter
Part of the Mobile Communication in Asia: Local Insights, Global Implications book series (MCALIGI)

Abstract

Over half of the world’s mobile subscriptions are in the Asia-Pacific region, yet the examination of the political implications of mobile phone use in the region is still in its infancy. Using a comparative framework and probability samples of university students in China (N = 896), Hong Kong (N = 794), and Taiwan (N = 982), this study examines different uses of mobile phones and their impact on several indicators of democratic engagement. Findings were very similar across samples. Informational uses of mobile phones were related to more political knowledge, while uses for political discussion were related to offline discussion, political participation, and civic participation. Mobile app use for political discussion was also significant and explained additional variance. While mobile information seeking was not related to either political or civic participation, additional analyses showed that the influence was indirect through mobile political discussion. The study furthers the literature by demonstrating robust relationships between mobile phone use and democratic engagement under different socio-political systems.

Keywords

Mobile media Political participation Civic participation Asia 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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