New voices in the public sphere: A comparative analysis of interpersonal and online political talk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

60 Scopus citations


Political conversation for many people is a taboo activity, particularly with acquaintances or strangers. Online, there are a wealth of political conversation spaces, designed for acquaintances and strangers to interact. The question is are there people talking politics online who do not do so face-to-face. This essay presents findings on people's reported political conversation behaviour online and offline from secondary survey analysis of a research project studying the effects of political deliberation. The survey analysis suggests that there are people who talk politics online who do not do so in face-to-face situations, and they are categorically different than those who do so face-to-face. The Internet may provide a new context for political conversation for those who would not normally engage in face-to-face political conversations, thus bringing new voices into the public sphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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