Political expression on Facebook in a context of conflict: Dilemmas and coping strategies of Jewish-Israeli youth

Yifat Mor, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Ifat Maoz

Abstract


Social media, and Facebook in particular, embody a complex and challenging context for impression management, particularly when it comes to political expression. The Israeli case presents a unique context in which to examine these questions as Jewish-Israeli youth are embedded in a divided society involved in the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A thematic content analysis of 15 in-depth interviews with Israeli-Jewish students who are regular Facebook users revealed distinct dilemmas. Jewish-Israeli youth are highly motivated to discuss politics on Facebook, while also aware of social risks involved in such discussion. They thus adopt unique coping strategies in which political expression is an integral part in the delicate act of impression management. This research extends our understanding of Facebook as a platform for expressing political content in divided societies, characterized by considerable internal and external conflict as well as high levels of political involvement.

Keywords


Facebook, impression management, heterogeneous audiences, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, political expression

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