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A Connected America

Politics in the Era of Social Media

Thad Hall and Betsy Sinclair

Publication Date - October 2018

ISBN: 9780199341986

176 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

An immersive look at politics in the age of social media and viral content


A Connected America: Politics in the Era of Social Media examines how voters interact with political representatives, the media, and other voters online. Offering a broad and current overview that doesn't skimp on the details, this text focuses on how new media affects policy changes, legislation, and elections-especially in the wake of the unprecedented 2016 U.S. presidential campaign cycle, the multiple special elections, and sweeping policy shifts. Cutting across a variety of course areas and topics, A Connected America is a perfect complement to courses on campaigns and elections, public opinion, and political media.


  • Explores the relationship between new media and democratic citizenship
  • Helps students become more participatory citizens by suggesting pathways to obtain political information through new media
  • Encourages further learning with additional readings and resources at the end of each chapter

About the Author(s)

Thad Hall is former Associate Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Public and International Affairs at the University of Utah.

Betsy Sinclair is Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis.


"A Connected America is easily the best text in its field. It runs the gamut of topics that should be covered and provides a nice balance of research and explanation." --David Peterson, Iowa State University

Table of Contents

    1. New Media and Electoral Representation
    a. The 47% Disaster, Data, and Information
    b. How Citizens Make Good Political Decisions
    i. Political Knowledge
    ii. Political Engagement
    iii. Being an Active Citizen
    c. New Media and the Missing Utopia
    d. Pussygate
    e. The Brave New World
    f. Suggested Readings

    2. The American "Internet" Voter
    a. Who is Howard Dean?
    b. Digital Citizens: New Media Access
    i. The Offline Adults
    ii. Online Access Points
    iii. Social Media Communities
    iv. The Cell Phone Revolution
    v. Social Internet Adults
    c. Digital Differences: New Media Use by the Political American
    i. The Online Political Person
    d. Engaging the Politically-Disinterested
    e. Who is Bernie Sanders?
    f. Describing the American Internet Voter

    3. Googling Political Information
    a. Following Football, Following Politics
    b. Political Facts v. Political Knowledge
    c. The Internet, Learning, and Primary Elections
    d. Individual's Searching for Candidate Information Online
    e. Googling During the California Top Two Primary
    f. Googling During Presidential Elections
    g. Google and Democratic Values

    4. Debating Politics in the YouTube Comments Section
    a. Online Political Deliberation
    b. Incivility and Perception
    c. YouTube
    d. Discussion Bubbles
    e. Clinton vs Trump Speeches: The YouTube Commenters Community
    f. Real Communication on YouTube

    5. Receiving Tweets from Politicians
    a. Twitter in American Life
    b. Tweeting Directly to Voters
    c. The Tweeting President
    i. Tweets that Connect
    d. Twitter Bots, Popularity, and Fake News (Part 1)
    e. The Psychology of Fake News
    f. The Twitterverse and American Politics

    6. Discussing Politics Face(book)-to-Face(book)
    a. Facebook as a Force in Politics
    b. Content of Shared Material
    c. Who Are the Connectors?
    d. Two-Step Flow: The Potential Magnitude of Sharing Politics Through New Media
    e. Shared Memes
    f. Online Sharing Occurs Less Frequently Than Actual Political Conversations
    g. Fake News (Part 2)
    h. Memes, Information, and Conversation: Political Conversation Between People Still Dominants New Media

    7. Conclusion
    a. Better Consumers of News
    b. Polarization and the Internet
    i. Reflection
    c. Opportunities for Engagement and Further Thought

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