The Internet's explosive growth over the past decade is where more visible than in Asia. Fueled by an expanding middle class, thousands of people connect to the Internet for the first time each day to explore and discuss issues that are relevant to them and their lives. This book provides an in-depth look at the impact of social media on political engagement among young citizens in this rapidly changing region of the world. Leading media scholars from nine Asian nations focus on three main questions: How frequently do Asians use social media to access and discuss political information? Does the use of social media increase political participation What political, social and cultural factors influence the impact of social media on political engagement in each nation? To answer these questions, contributors first analyze the current state of social media in their nations and then present the findings of a cross-national survey on social media use that was conducted with over 3,500 Asian respondents. By employing a comparative approach, they analyze how social media function and interact with the cultural and political systems in each country - and how they might affect political engagement among individual citizens.
Lars Willnat (PhD, Indiana University) is Professor of Journalism at Indiana University. He is the author of more than 50 journal articles and book chapters and is a co-editor of The Global Journalist in the 21st Century (2012) and Political Communication in Asia (2009). He is a co-author of Empirical Political Analysis: Research Methods in Political Science (2008). Annette Aw (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is Professor at the University of Maryland University College. She is also a research consultant focusing on media-related studies for private businesses, trade associations and government agencies.