Profile Pictures and Political Expression : The Perceived Effectiveness of Avatar Activism (an Austrian Case)

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31A_Invited conference paper (refereed items)

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2017

Conference

Title100th Annual Conference of Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC 2017)
PlaceUnited States
CityChicago, IL
Period9 - 12 August 2017

Abstract

This paper investigates the phenomenon of avatar activism (AA), understood as changing one’s profile picture in a social media (SM) or online social network (OSN) for political reasons or a good cause from a quantitative perspective. Specifically, the effectiveness of avatar activism as perceived by users engaging in this practice, as well as its relation to factors like age, participation in OSNs, online social capital and political engagement are investigated. An online questionnaire of n = 210 was distributed before the Austrian Presidential Elections in December 2016, and the topic AA was placed within the context of the elections, but also addressed other examples of AA. After increasing the variable perceived effectiveness of AA along several levels related to cognitive or actual impact, results show that most people do see this activity as a good form of self-expression, but doubt the actual political impact. Age, participation in OSNs and online social capital could not be identified as influencing factors of perceived effectiveness of AA. However, engagement in AA is related to other forms of political engagement. The limitations of the study and possible further directions are discussed.

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Citation Format(s)

Profile Pictures and Political Expression : The Perceived Effectiveness of Avatar Activism (an Austrian Case). / Schossboeck, Judith.

2017. 100th Annual Conference of Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC 2017), Chicago, IL, United States.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)31A_Invited conference paper (refereed items)