The New Town Hall: Why We Engage Personally with Politicians

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ABC-CLIO, Sep 22, 2020 - Political Science - 171 pages

Never before has it been so easy for Americans to make their personal views known to their elected officials. Citizens can tweet their opinions to their political representatives or respond to a Facebook post on politicians' pages to convey their approval or dislike for policies. They can engage politically through virtual town halls or show up in person at a protest easily organized through digital platforms. But this mediated relationship also makes it easy for politicians to push back against the opinions of their constituents by deriding their views or even blocking them online.

The New Town Hall gives readers a firsthand look at personal political experiences through vivid stories from a variety of Americans. Researcher and former journalist Gina Masullo documents how Americans feel when they are blocked on social media and demonstrates how political talk with elected officials—both online and offline—leads to more involved types of political participation, such as protests or campaigning for political candidates. She contextualizes these personal political experiences with an eye toward understanding how these interactions influence the democratic process.

 

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Contents

The Personal Politics of Interacting with Elected Officials
33
What This Means
83
Interview Protocols
95
Notes
99
Bibliography
147
Index
165
About the Author
173
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

Gina M. Masullo, PhD, is associate director of the Center for Media Engagement and associate professor in the School of Journalism, both at The University of Texas at Austin.

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