Social Media and Youth Online Political Participation: Perspectives on Cognitive Engagement.

Aishat Adebisi Abdulrauf, Norsiah binti Abdul Hamid, Mohd Sobhi bin Ishak


The role of social media in political participation cannot be overstated as sites like Facebook and Twitter have provided new avenues for political engagement. Yet, concerns for declining participation among youths has led to increased research in this area. Unfortunately, conflicting results have emerged from such researches, perhaps due to lack of proper theorization of the concept of youth online political participation on social media. Hence, the Cognitive Engagement Theory (CET) will be used as underpinning in the paper. CET from the perspective of online political participation on social media embodies two separate trend. First, is the decrease in the cost of acquiring information; and second, the increase in youth’s ability to process political information which in turn enhances participation. This means that youths will have more political resources allowing them to deal with political issues and understand how democracy works in their society. Consequently, using CET has helped to clarify differing results as it contain variables such as access to political information on social media, political knowledge, political interest and policy satisfaction which better explains the concept of youth online political participation on social media, hence decreasing the inconsistencies experienced in previous researches.

Keywords: Social Media, Online Political Participation, Cognitive Engagement Theory, Youths.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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