FICTION VS REALITY A survey experiment comparing the effect of representation in different spheres on political efficacy.

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The social debate mentions how people in socioeconomic weaker areas are less politically engaged and have less political efficacy. Previous research mentions lack of representation as a possible explanation. Using the parasocial interactions theory, this thesis tested if representation in politics and in fictional political TV-series would affect individual’s level of political efficacy. I hypothesized that bothrepresentation in the actual political world and in fictional political TV-series would have positiveeffects on political efficacy for people in socioeconomic weaker areas of Gothenburg. An online-survey experiment was conducted, and the results were analysed using linear regression. No hypotheses could be verified and reasons for this could be due to small sample size (N=324) and a weak manipulation in the experiment. Since many people watch fiction and entertainment, future research could consider representation in fiction alongside political representation.

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