258.2 Digital skills as a conditioning factor for digital political participation

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 11:03 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Stefano DE MARCO , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Mirko ANTINO , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Cristóbal TORRES-ALBERO , Sociology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
In a political context in which the Internet is becoming increasingly important as a tool for participation, academia is starting to enquire about the factors that facilitate engaging in digital political practices. Among these factors, those inherent to the digital nature of said practices are especially important. In this paper we seek to understand how the digital skills of Internet users influence their Digital Political Participation. Following the researchers of the second-level digital divide and digital inequality, we have operationalised the digital skills construct in terms of competence in the use of the Internet and level of appropriation of this tool by users. Through the study “Internet and Political Participation” of the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas we tested, firstly, the goodness of the items chosen to measure these two dimensions. Secondly, we looked into their influence on Digital Political Participation. The results are framed within the Democratic Divide theory.