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date: 04 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the last decade, big data, and social media in particular, have seen increased popularity among citizens, organizations, politicians, and other elites—which in turn has created new and promising avenues for scholars studying long-standing questions of communication flows and influence. Studies of social media play a prominent role in our evolving understanding of the supply and demand sides of the political process, including the novel strategies adopted by elites to persuade and mobilize publics, as well as the ways in which citizens react, interact with elites and others, and utilize platforms to persuade audiences. While recognizing some challenges, this chapter speaks to the myriad of opportunities that social media data afford for evaluating questions of mobilization and persuasion, ultimately bringing us closer to a more complete understanding Lasswell’s (1948) famous maxim: “who, says what, in which channel, to whom, [and] with what effect.”

Keywords: social media, methodology, citizens, elites, persuasion, mobilization

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