Segmenting voters online: the youth vote

Chicksand, Lorna and Carrigan, Marylyn (2006). Segmenting voters online: the youth vote. Journal of Public Affairs, 6(3-4) pp. 269–282.



This paper will build on previous work that has examined the impact of the Internet on political processes, such as the work of Gibson and Ward (1998, 2003) and Dermody and Wring (2001). Most of this work has focused on developing frameworks with which to analyse the effectiveness of these websites. Our approach complements this earlier work by utilizing an interpretive methodology (Thompson, 1996) to gain a deeper insight into end-users perceptions of political parties' websites. This paper will discuss the activities of young people on the Net and outline some of the reasons why political parties' websites are failing to attract a younger audience. A consideration of the technical factors that make a good website will be followed by in-depth interviews with young people to elicit their views and experiences of political parties' websites. At a time when voter apathy is at an all time low, this study is especially relevant.

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