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Can online participation on issues of asylum seeking lead to action? Understanding the intent to act

journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-01, 00:00 authored by Fiona McKayFiona McKay, Matthew DunnMatthew Dunn
Objective

Issues of refuge and asylum are often controversial in Australia, with misinformation, fear, and emotion often used to sway public opinion. The objective of this study was to understand individuals’ willingness to advocate on asylum seeker issues.
Method

Using an online survey, this study investigated the attitudes, opinions, and activities of those who had signed up to a Facebook page or newsletter of an asylum seeker support organisation.
Results

In total, 3,978 surveys were completed; 1,688 from people who were signed up to a regular newsletter, and 2,416 people who ‘liked’ the Facebook site. Most respondents were women, from Victoria, and were educated to at least the university level.
Conclusions

The findings of this study indicate that the engagement of those who had ‘liked’ the Facebook page were more Internet based, suggesting that when the cost of engaging action is low, people do little more than engage in token support, a number of interpretations for this finding are presented. Organisations need to consider how to engage this group in more ‘meaningful support’.

History

Journal

Australian journal of psychology

Volume

69

Issue

4

Pagination

247 - 255

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Chichester, Eng.

ISSN

1742-9536

eISSN

1742-9536

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Wiley