The Impact of Social Media Use on Mass Polarization in Hong Kong: Putting Multiple Identities into Perspective

Project: Research

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This study aims to articulate the role of social media in growing polarization betweenpro-establishment (i.e. pro-Beijin) and pro-democracy citizens in Hong Kong. Due tothe high-choice nature of social media, it facilitates selective exposure to informationthat is congruent with users’ partisan identity, resulting in attitudinal and affectivepolarization. However, most of the previous studies presuppose two mutually exclusivepartisan identities (e.g. Democrat vs. Republican in the U.S.) and little is known aboutthe role of more complex multiple identities that coexist within an individual. Focusingon Hong Kong, where Chinese and Hong Kong identities are dynamically constructed ina non-mutually exclusive way, this study advances our understanding of the connectionbetween social media use and mass polarization. The findings generated by this projectwill not only make a theoretical contribution to better understand the social and politicalconsequences of social media but will also provide deep insight into the reality of digitalcitizenship in Hong Kong.


Project number9042598
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1818/11/20