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Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(4), 65; doi:10.3390/socsci5040065

Netflix and Engage? Implications for Streaming Television on Political Participation during the 2016 US Presidential Campaign

Division of Emerging Media Studies, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Terri Towner
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 10 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 October 2016 / Published: 21 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Political Participation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [705 KB, uploaded 21 October 2016]   |  


A large body of existing research has consistently demonstrated that the use of social networking sites (SNS) by citizens in elections is positively related to different forms of both offline and online participation. The opposite argument, however, is often advanced with regard to increased viewing broadcast or cable television, particularly entertainment programming. This study proceeds from this broad vantage point by examining survey-based indicators of active SNS use and conventional television viewing in the 2016 presidential primaries, as well as the frequency of streaming television viewing during the early stages of this campaign. Data for this study was drawn from a representative nationwide online panel, and findings observed here suggest that more personalized communication through the ongoing morphology of social networking sites and streaming both political and apolitical television content are significant factors in positively shaping both online and offline participation. Comparisons with other media including conventional television viewing are introduced, and theoretical implications from a media system dependency framework are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media; streaming television; binge watching; political participation social media; streaming television; binge watching; political participation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Groshek, J.; Krongard, S. Netflix and Engage? Implications for Streaming Television on Political Participation during the 2016 US Presidential Campaign. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 65.

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