Impacts of social media on political awareness in Nigeria Umar Lawal. (student number, 1020851)


This entry contains data in relation to the subject matter or topic above. The proposed essay looks at the impacts of social media in creating political awareness in developing countries of the world, taking Nigeria as an area of the study. This is as a result of the popularity of the counrty among African countries. Its popularity is beggotten following its vast population, hetrogeneity, multiethnicity and above all, its efforts to ensure sustainable democracy as other countires did, especially Western and European countries. The research carefully summarizes the coverages of the selectd relevant academic books, and website. Likewise it makes succint presentation of their major arguements. In addition, it shows how the various sources relate to the topic under study. Meanwhile, following the recent concluded general elections in Nigeria, it is clear that media have contributed in creating awareness politically among the citizens of the country within it and in diasphora. Most important among these media are the social media and to be more specific, the FACEBOOK. In order to be most specific, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio service is chosen for the study. The reason for choosing radio may not be unconnected to the nature of the medium in terms of immediacy, and the nature of vast population in the chosen country as they do listen more than they read.

Baran, S. J. & Davis, D. K., (2000). Mass Communication Theory, Foundation, Ferment and Future. U.K. Wadsworth.

This book contains introductory information in respect of the new trends in theories of Mass Communication. Its main area of concern is exploration of various media theories and their distinctions both in the past and present.

Divided into four parts, the book is spread into 12 chapters. Part one tries to answer some key questions about media with introduction into the eras of media theories, and various theoretical postulations that came up within this period. Still on the phases of media theory development, the second part looks at the rise of the Mass Society.

Thirdly, three chapters were devoted to the study of the media effects, which include the rise and fall of the media effects.

Finally, fourth part of the book examines the new trends in the study of mass communication such as the roles of the media in society, challenges facing the media.

The authors of the book, Baran & Davis, attempt to make understanding of the media theories easier considering the cost of comprehending the media especially within the revolution of technology. Their major argument and summary of the book revolves round the impacts of the media and the dynamism in journalism. They posit that ‘we can consider how the media industries came up (history), and use current postulation (new media), so we can interpret what obtains at the moment.’

Considering the literature in this book, it is seemed to be worth perusing in conducting this wiki study. The book specifically touches areas that are related to the topic of this work.

Brenda, L. (1990). The Art of Human Computer interface Design. Wokingham: Addison Wesley

In this book, the author(s) looks at the development of computer interface design. It therefore, covers explanation on new forms of technologies namely: 'cyberspace, animation, multimedia, and speech recognition' (from the blurb).

In the first part of the book it establishes a general background on 'issues of interface design (from the blurb). other parts lay emphasis on 'experience of different users and designers, glimpse into the new forms of technological changes that have impacts on interface design; similarly, it provides vivid insights into the scholarly views, ideas, and theories as they relate to various propounders.

From the introduction of the book, it is clear that interface is far more than just the issues of 'hardware and software,' but rather it includes 'both cognitive and emotional aspects of the user's experience. The book tries to evaluate and appreciate 'user empowerment.'

It is therefore an important source of reference to this essay. This, however, is due to the fact that it attempts to look at interface beyond microscopic view. Interface or rather the border line between human and computer applications, which include among other things the ability of humans to exert efforts in utilizing the opportunities in a globalized world of internet revolution.

Humans therefore can use the social media such as the Facebook in order to receive, retrieve, and send information via the socially networked medium. By so doing, humans get empowered as their views are heard, most especially in a democratic society.

Cox, G. et al (2004). Data Browser 01. Economising Culture on 'The (digital) Culture Industry. New York: Autonomedia.

The main thrust of this book is exploration of interaction that exists in a society dominated by capitalist ideology of mass consumption. It is a maiden edition. It uses 'the concept of the culture industry' in addition to 'testing its being current' within the context of new technologies (Cox 2004:7).

Cox (ibid:7) explains further that the vitality of the theories of relationship between 'producers and consumers' within the context of a capitalist society as 'explored' by scholars like Theodor Adonor and Max Horkheimer in the 1940s.

These 'ideas are still seen relevant in the present society of information galore, says Cox (ibid: 7) arguing that the two i.e. 'culture' and 'economy' are inseparable. According to him culture and economy are concomitant (related) and exist in society as what he opines is 'so-called enterprise culture.'

Lack of confluence on the 'use of the term 'cultural industries' and relationship to such definitions like 'creative industries,' Culture as claimed is 'linked to suspicious regeneration by the efforts of 'culturepreneurs' (Cox ibid: 8).

The scope of the book, in addition Cox (ibid: 8) claims, has extended to attempt of replacement of the term ‘mass culture' with 'culture industry.'

Similarly, Mass culture, Cox (ibid: 8) further claims has been shaped by the 'technological' revolution. Arguably therefore, few production centres generate mass consumption, millions of people participate in the 'culture industries,' with technology dominating the society (Cox ibid :).

The use of technology to persuade people in the society; a 'rationale of dominance' Adonor and Horkeimer (cited in Cox 2004:8) posit is not only apparent in economic terms, and that the disagreement that technology destroys artwork is positive. It employs the approach of critical theory to underpin the argument it evaluates.

In fact it is evaluated to be good reference material for this essay in the sense that it covers areas like politics, ‘prosumption,’ within the context of 'the concept of culture industry.'

Dominick, J. R. (2009). The Dynamics of Mass Communication, Media in the Digital Age (10th Edition). London: McGraw-Hill.

This material contains topical issues covering several areas of Mass Communication studies within the present trends and metamorphosis of media structure.

Therefore, the topics can be outlined as follows:
 Understanding nature and history of media in general
 Media studies such as newspaper, magazine, radio, internet and the World Wide Web, etc,
 Activities of the media
 Rules governing the conducts of the media and
 The effects of the mass media

It ‘examines’ the way media ‘provide’ their audience with contents via new systems like the internet Facebook. This is what Dominick (2009:xxi) calls multiple ‘platforms.’

Similarly, the book extends discussion on ‘user-generated content, media convergence where for example the old system and the new systems are converged together, in addition to the impacts of the internet on radio in particular and the old media in general (Dominick ibid: xxii).

Dix, et al (1998). Human Computer Interaction. London: Pretence Hall.

This title provides a multi-facetted approach to the study of human - computer interaction. It covers three parts with various subheadings beginning with rudimentary aspects concerning human psychology and its relation to the computer technology. It considers human being as information 'processor, receiver and effective in terms of their relations to received data' (Dix et al).

Similarly, it describes 'a range of computer devices that sum up the bulwark of computer, particularly for interface design,' with lucid explanation on 'all factors that impact on the behaviours of the interface,' (Dix :).

In essence, the book is a 'study of people, computer technology' and the interaction that exists between them (Dix :). In addition, Dix () further opines that ' HCI is an area concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computer system' targeted towards ' human use.'

Three disciplines have impact on the idea behind the reason why the writers chose to come up with a compendium of this magnitude namely: 'drawing particularly on the contribution of psychology, cognitive science and sociology' (Dix). This may not be unconnected to the reason why it is chosen for the purpose of this piece on impacts of social media.

Likewise, it covers three parts as earlier mentioned, thus 'the basics of human computer interaction, perspectives on design process and advanced studies on human computer interaction.

Estes J., Schade, A. & Nielsen, J. (2009). Streams, Walls, and Feeds. Available on: accessed on 07/05/2011

Subsequent to the instructions and guiding rules governing this wiki assignment, it is deemed expedient to use this web link as an academic website to serve as part of the wiki's requirements.

This website is a free source of relevant information to readers; entitled: streams, walls & feeds: 109 Design Guidelines for Improving Notifications, Messages, and Alerts Sent Through Social Networks and RSS.

It has covered a wide range of issues that relate to social media such as facebook, twitter, skype etc.

According to the authors of the report, it 'is based on empirical observations of the ecatc user behavior,in relation to how audiences surfed messages and postings from more than 120 companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, as well as these organizations' RSS feeds (Estes J., Schade, A. & Nielsen, J. 2009).'

Therefore, this website is assumed to be good source for a proposed area of study of this magnitude.

Flew, T. (2005). New Media, an Introduction. U.S: Oxford University

The first edition of the book covers a wide area of human endeavour specifically, 'social, political, economic and cultural' behaviour in a world that has become networked by the 'new media technologies (Flew 2005: x).

It therefore, looks at the modern world in terms of the uses and implications of features of the internet like blogging, e-commerce,facebook, among others within the context of the media revolution..

It covers a comprehensive 'historic understanding of new media development,' as it also draws its analytical framework on interdisciplinary approach cutting across 'cultural studies, economy, politics, sociology, media studies' etc (Flew 2005: xi).

While the second edition is a revised version of the earlier one with 'new chapters on internet, games studies. Essentially it covers 12 chapters, with the 12th chapter devoted to concluding notes.

Summarily, it argues that the new media emerged as a result of increasing impacts of 'digitisation, convergence, and internet networking in a virtual world. It focuses its argument on the 'drivers' of the change.

The book argues, however, that 'new media forms of social interaction, which enables construction of identity and new form of communities based on networked.' Meanwhile, it identifies 'distinction and behaviour in the online communities, whereby millions of people have so much gained advantages of such interactions.

Gauntlett, D. & Horsley, R. (2004). Web Studies. New York: Oxford University Press.

Web Studies is a collection of texts that paves way for the people to develop their communities or social forums using the new media technologies. It covers a range of issues as they relate to the World Wide Web. The book is outlined in such a way that it contains four parts; each with various subheads interconnecting ideas for example of scholars on the internet, its arts and forms in conjunction with aspects of society such as business, politics and class struggle.

Interestingly, a whole part of the book is devoted to study of nature, meaning and interaction among World Wide Web, social forums, politics and conflicts. Therefore, it is evaluated considering the significance of the issues it covers, to be suitable for reference purpose in carrying out a work on a topic of this magnitude.

Finally it predicts the future of the media base on digital formats. It concerns much on the development and debate that surround online communities with reference to the philosophy of Web studies.

McQuail, D. (2005). McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory. London: Sage Publications.

This book according to the text in the blurb ‘offers a clear, concise and easily accessible overview in the field of Mass Communication research – Anders Hansen.
It is a fifth edition of McQuail’s Mass Communication theory that gives a comprehensive ‘treatment of major areas relating to Mass Communication’ which includes theories ideas on mass communication studies. It thus covers such areas on theories, nature or structure of the media.

Others are media outfits structure, and contents. The rest are audience research and media effects study with a concluding part on prediction of the future of Mass Communication in general.

Consequently, it argues that the ‘proliferation of new’ forms of media base on new technologies has raised concern for heated argument on the plight of the conventional media like the newspaper, magazine, radio and television (McQuail 2007:vii).

Furthermore, in an attempt to summarise the argument of the book, McQuail (2007:vii) summarises that the issue of whether or not the old system of communication will give way to the new media system, the issue remains unsettled.

However, the point is that it seems the new system of information dissemination becomes ubiquitous and all-encompassing with the rise of social media. The social media systems like the Facebook become veritable tools for creating political awareness.
The book is a valuable source for this piece as it contains vital issues relating to the topic under discussion.


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