Does the Truth Matter in Science?

An epistemological approach of online political participation

The emergence of new media platforms together with the ongoing development of the web have influenced many aspects of the social life, such as culture, economy and politics. New media platforms might encourage ordinary citizens to participate and influence the political discourse. Generally speaking, new media play an important role in shaping the political discourse and the decision-making process both online and offline. Online communities function as a gathering space where individuals from different parts of the world exchange views on political issues that directly concern them (Van Dijk 2012, 102).

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Mediatization of Politics: The Role of ICTs in Women Empowerment

Maria Strati and Christine Rüschenschmidt conducted a study about the role of information and communications technologies in the women empowerment. The study focused on the case of the European Women’s Lobby.

ABSTRACT: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) shape the communication practices among individuals and organizations. The omnipresence of media led to the interrelation of politics and media. The strong dependence of media and politics could be described by the concept of mediatization of politics. Political organizations have been urged to incorporate ICTs in their daily activities and adapt to the communication norms of the new media platforms. Moreover, media technologies may give a voice to some social groups, such as women, to debate about politics. The goal of this paper is to examine whether the ICTs may contribute to women empowerment to advocate for gender issues and participate in the political life.

Keywords: mediatization, politics, new media, ICTs, women, European Women’s Lobby.

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Case Study Assignment: New Media as a Tool for Political Participation: The Debating Europe Case

Maria Strati and George Vitopoulos conducted a study about the impact of new media on political participation. The study focused on European Elections 2014 and based on the case of “Debating Europe“.

Abstract: New media technologies have been integrated also in the political discourse since internet users may produce consume and share information. The study examined the role of new media technologies in the active civic participation focusing on the Debating Europe case, a project that aims to amplify the active civic participation in Europe. The online political debate is also influenced by other forces, such as political stakeholders, market, civil society organizations and the profile of people participating in online political debates. Being familiar with the ICT technologies does not guarantee the active civic participation. However, it could be the medium that may empower citizens to be part of the decision-making process.

Keywords: New media technologies, social media, civic participation, Debating Europe, politics, European Union, Facebook, Twitter, blogosphere.

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Homeless Women: a comparative review essay

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Generally speaking homelessness has many dimensions, such as, the reasons why someone becomes homeless, the process of becoming homeless and how homeless people deal with everyday hardships and uncertainty. In general, homelessness is a worth investigating social issue for the following two reasons, firstly society should move away from some stereotypes regarding homeless people and adapt a more tolerant behavior towards them, and secondly the state stakeholders should adjust housing and welfare policies according to the needs of middle-low class.

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Master Thesis Project

The following Master thesis project was conducted in the final semester of my Master studies.

Title: The impact of culture on civic participation in the digital era: the case of the European Cultural Foundation: The link between civic participation, cultural production, and consumption

Abstract:

Politics and, cultural production and consumption activities are among the essential dimensions of the social and political life. Firstly, they may shape and be shaped by different social infrastructures. Secondly, they may define the allocation of power within the society. Cultural production and consumption activities should not only be regarded as a form of entertainment but also their impact on politics. Cultural production and consumption practices may stimulate civic participation. That is to say, they may function as a vehicle of citizens’ encouragement to voice their opinions through artistic manifestations. The establishment of online communities may facilitate the gathering and networking of citizens interested in civic participation and, cultural production and consumption practices. Non-governmental/ non-for-profit organizations dealing with the promotion of civic participation through cultural production and consumption manifestations may facilitate the access to a wider audience to the cultural public sphere. The study was focused on the case of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF). Specifically, the data collection procedure was conducted mainly on the online community of the ECF Labs, a platform established by the ECF. The primary goal of the platform is to gather citizens keen on politics and cultural production. Among the main findings was that cultural production and consumption activities may mobilize citizens to participate in the political and social life. However, if there is an absence of the necessary infrastructures cultural production and consumption activities may have no impact on civic participation.

Keywords: cultural production and consumption, internet platforms, cultural public sphere, ECF.

The Master thesis is available HERE