Analyzing online political discussion using three models of democratic communication

Deen G. Freelon
2010 New Media & Society  
Research examining online political forums has until now been overwhelmingly guided by two broad perspectives: (1) a deliberative conception of democratic communication and (2) a diverse collection of incommensurable multi-sphere approaches. While these literatures have contributed many insightful observations, their disadvantages have left many interesting communicative dynamics largely unexplored. This article seeks to introduce a new framework for evaluating online political forums (based on
more » ... the work of Jürgen Habermas and Lincoln Dahlberg) that addresses the shortcomings of prior approaches by identifying three distinct, overlapping models of democracy that forums may manifest: the liberal, the communitarian and the deliberative democratic. For each model, a set of definitional variables drawn from the broader online forum literature is documented and discussed.
doi:10.1177/1461444809357927 fatcat:qfpojjdhnfajpephtlo53dhx5q