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Abstract

dela Cerna, J. R. (2017). The Influence of Facebook-Mediated Information and Communication on the Political Awareness, Efficacy, and Participation of Overseas Filipino Workers Regarding the 2016 National Elections. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This thesis studies the influence of Facebook-mediated political information acquisition, exposure, engagement, and communication on OFWs’ political participation. Specifically, it investigates how OFWs’ unique transnational practices influence their politically-motivated social interaction and dynamics within Facebook, and how this mediated interaction influences their political efficacy, voting and offline mobilization behaviors.

To ascertain both the substantive and structural characteristics of these Facebook- mediated interactions and political participatory practices, the study adopted a novel research design that used computational social network analysis and mapping of politically-aligned Facebook groups, as informed by Shah et al.’s O-S-R-O-R Model of Political Communication, McClurg’s Social Network Model of Political Participation, and the Transnationalism concept. Findings revealed that OFW respondents were as likely to seek out information as to be incidentally exposed to it, and that political discussions were often done privately and with an individual’s known peers. Moreover, engagement within public Facebook groups were largely driven by a core of active and nomadic users, especially being pronounced in larger, Duterte-leaning groups. Crucially, pre-existing political intent was found to be the primary driver for both online and offline political participation. In all, private interpersonal political discussions were found to be the most strongly correlated Facebook activity with actual voting behavior of OFWs.

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