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VIRTUALLY REPRESENTATIVE?: EXAMINING CONGRESSIONAL WEBSITES AS A VEHICLE FOR CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION

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Date Issued:
2013
Abstract/Description:
Democratic theorists focus on the character of representation (Pitkin, 1967) and the types of representation provided by Members of Congress (Mansbridge, 2003). Representational scholarship has examined communication and representation from the vantage points of Member representational style (Fenno, 1978), committee participation (Hall, 1996), floor voting, and constituent policy congruence (Miller & Stokes, 1963). Yet, despite the Internet's potential to transform political dialogue (Schlozman et al., 2010), the field of congressional studies has largely neglected the impact of virtual public space on representational behavior. Of the studies addressing this impact, none examine how the Internet is shaping information exchanges from constituent to Member or how the Internet might be strategically used by Members to direct constituent correspondence. The purpose of this study is to address this gap in the scholarship by assessing the quality of facilitation of communication flowing from constituent to the Member on Member websites, or the Member's online accessibility. I code Member websites in 2012 to capture online accessibility and conceptualize four modes of Member accessibility: delegate accessibility, bureaucratic liaison accessibility, district accessibility, and email accessibility. I use logistic and OLS regression analysis to capture the relationship between Member-level and district-level predictors of a Member's online accessibility.
Title: VIRTUALLY REPRESENTATIVE?: EXAMINING CONGRESSIONAL WEBSITES AS A VEHICLE FOR CONSTITUENT COMMUNICATION.
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Name(s): Hayden, Jessica Meghan, Author
Evans, Jocelyn, Committee Chair
Tankersley, William, Committee Member
Cuzan, Alfred G., Committee Member
University of West Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2013
Publisher: University of West Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Democratic theorists focus on the character of representation (Pitkin, 1967) and the types of representation provided by Members of Congress (Mansbridge, 2003). Representational scholarship has examined communication and representation from the vantage points of Member representational style (Fenno, 1978), committee participation (Hall, 1996), floor voting, and constituent policy congruence (Miller & Stokes, 1963). Yet, despite the Internet's potential to transform political dialogue (Schlozman et al., 2010), the field of congressional studies has largely neglected the impact of virtual public space on representational behavior. Of the studies addressing this impact, none examine how the Internet is shaping information exchanges from constituent to Member or how the Internet might be strategically used by Members to direct constituent correspondence. The purpose of this study is to address this gap in the scholarship by assessing the quality of facilitation of communication flowing from constituent to the Member on Member websites, or the Member's online accessibility. I code Member websites in 2012 to capture online accessibility and conceptualize four modes of Member accessibility: delegate accessibility, bureaucratic liaison accessibility, district accessibility, and email accessibility. I use logistic and OLS regression analysis to capture the relationship between Member-level and district-level predictors of a Member's online accessibility.
Identifier: WFE0000392 (IID), uwf:61051 (fedora)
Note(s): 2013-06-01
Ed.D.
Department of Political Science
Doctorate
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/uwf/fd/WFE0000392
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UWF

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