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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The theory and substance of social media?, 6 April 2014
This review is from: Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence (Paperback)
Coming from a background in Development Studies I was looking for some in-depth analysis on politics and political behaviour. Starting (!) with the voluminous Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour, Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel soon came on the radar. Their two papers on "Post-Materialist Values and the shift from survival to self-expression values" Inglehart and " Individual Modernity" Welzel both referenced the book under review.

As other reviewers have stated this is a book with great depth and scholarship which rewards careful reading. My own focus was to understand the elements which play into the growth and development of social media since the advent of the World Wide Web. The authors develop their arguments for the growth of "self-expression" values as underpinning the heart of democracy.

In answer to the question "do you support democracy" few could articulate what they are supporting if their answer was positive - other than the right to vote. The authors tease out the narrative of democracy and clearly show that with greater self expression democracy as social relation is deepened. This goes far beyond what elites and bureaucratic structures might think they have control of.

This book asks for engagement with the future of democratic society and shows how people through self expressive experience and tools (social media) will become greater participants in that democratic society. Social Media isn't anything new then it's part of the long term political change.

Must read.
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Location: UK

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