Everyday Political Talk in Third Spaces
Digital News + Masterclass Series
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The Digital News+ Lab of the News and Media Research Centre, Faculty of Art and Design, University of Canberra, is proud to host Dr Scott Wright presenting his research on "Everyday Political Talk in Third Spaces". Scott Wright is a Senior Lecturer in Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
The extensive literature analysing the nature of political deliberation online has generally found limited evidence of deliberation, with debate polarised into like-minded communities; limited use of evidence; and significant flaming, trolling and incivility (e.g. Davis, 2005; Wilhelm, 2000; Smith et al., 2013). This literature has, however, largely focused on explicitly political online spaces (such as political discussion forums or debates on politicians’ social media) using formal definitions of politics and Habermas-inspired elite models of deliberation. In response, a new agenda for online deliberation has been proposed that focuses on the interactions of “ordinary” citizens’ informal political talk in everyday online, ‘third spaces’, such as parenting, sports, or gardening forums, using expansive notion of political talk that embrace the vernacular, expressive and porous characteristics of everyday public speech and broader definitions of ‘the political’ (Wright, 2012a, b). This presentation will outline the concept of third space, and the methodological challenges of identifying and analysing such talk. Data from a range of case studies of UK and Australian ‘third spaces’ will be presented, showing that when people talk about politics in third spaces, they generally use evidence to support claims and refrain from trolling, flaming and abuse. Political talk is also often crosscutting (left-right) even on sensitive topics such as asylum and abortion. Furthermore, such talk leads to a wide range of political actions. This lecture is part of DN+L Masterclass Series. There is no need to register but if you would like to also attend the Masterclass which will be held immediately after, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/data-mess-and-methods-workshop-tickets-39468229537 to register by November 10, 2017. Lunch/tea/coffee are provided, spaces limited.