Unpacking the Relationship between Mobile Phone Usage Patterns, Network Size, and Civic Engagement

Chang Sup Park 1 *

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Abstract

This study, based on a survey of 1,260 mobile phone users, investigates the relationships among patterns of mobile phone use, network size, and civic engagement. It finds that informational uses of mobile phones are positively associated with civic engagement – engagement in informal socializing and engagement in organized groups or clubs. On the other hand, relational and recreational uses have a neutral or negative association with civic engagement. Most important, the network size in mobile communication moderates the impact of relational and recreational uses on civic engagement while it mediates the impact of informational uses on civic engagement. This research indicates that the mobile phone, depending on its usage patterns and communication network size, can have different effects on civic engagement.

Keywords

mobile phone civic engagement network size usage patterns

License

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.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp. 169-197

Published Online: 26 Apr 2017

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