Citizen Engagement Politics and Digital Media in Namibia

SSA Research Sadrag Panduleni Shihomeka 220 PAGES (80261 WORDS) Thesis
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements v

Declaration vi

Dedication vii

List of Acronyms viii

List of Tables ix

List of Figures x

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

1.1 Introduction 2

1.2 Understanding Political Participation and Digital Media:

A Global North Perspective 3

1.3 The Global South: Young People, Politics, and Digital Media 4

1.4 Why Study Young People’s Mobile Political Participation? 5

1.5 African Perspectives on Political Participation and Digital Citizenship 7

1.6 Research Questions 9

1.7 Research Plan and Methods 10

1.7.1 Research Design 10

1.7.2 Research Ethics 10

1.7.3 Dissertation Overview 10

Chapter 2 Theoretical Perspectives on the Role of Mobile Phones in Youth

Political Integration 15

2.1 Introduction 16

2.2 The Public Sphere Theory and the Emergence of a Virtual Sphere

Theory 16

2.3 Shifting Notions of Citizenship in the Digital Age 19

2.4 Activism Defined 21

2.5 Political and Digital Activism 22

2.6 E-Governance and Direct Inclusive Democracy in the Global South 23

2.7 Political Participation and New Media 27

xii

2.7.1 Political Engagement in Africa 27

2.7.2 Uses of New Media in African Politics 27

2.8 Namibia, New Media, and Political Engagement 29

2.8.1 Demographical Overview 29

2.8.2 The Postcolonial Legacy and the Media 31

2.8.3 Political Parties and Social Media 32

2.9 Namibian Young Citizens and Social Media 33

2.10 Conclusion 36

Chapter 3 Methodology 39

3.1 Introduction 40

3.2 Qualitative Research Design and Exploratory Strategy 40

3.3 Data Collection Instruments 42

3.3.1 Ethnographic Participant Observation 43

3.3.2 Semi-Structured Interviews 45

3.3.3 Qualitative Facebook, Mobile Phone, and WhatsApp Pages

Content Analysis 48

3.3.4 Focus Group Discussions 50

3.3.5 Thematic Data Analysis 51

3.4 The Context of the Study 53

3.5 Conclusion 58

3.5.1 Summary: Highlights 58

3.5.2 Summary: Timeline 59

Chapter 4 Old and New Media 63

4.1 Introduction 64

4.2 Hybrid and Transmedia Storytelling 65

4.3 Namibia’s Media Landscape 66

4.4 Youth Access to Old and New Media in the Ohangwena Region 66

4.5 Analysis and Findings 68

4.5.1 Public Radio Less Popular for Political Engagement 68

4.5.2 Television a Luxury Medium for Rural Youth Politics 73

4.5.3 Newspapers as Tools for Updating Young People’s Current

Affairs and Employment

Opportunities 74

4.5.4 Are New Media Taking Over the Role of Traditional Media

for Democratic Citizenship? 77

4.6 Conclusion 79

xiii

Chapter 5 Offline and Online Political Networks 83

5.1 Introduction 84

5.2 Political Participation Landscape 87

5.3 Youth Political Participation and Civic Engagement in Namibia 90

5.4 Findings and Analysis 91

5.4.1 Political Platforms for Youth Employment, Political Dialogue,

and Survival Politics 92

5.4.2 Online and Offline Politics 93

5.4.3 Perspectives on Political Participation in the Public Sphere 94

5.4.4 Political Ideologies, Family Politics, and Constitutional

Obligations 95

5.4.5 Communication and Mobile Connectivity 96

5.4.6 Politics and Digital Divide 98

5.4.7 Young People’s Political Apathy and Cynicism: Towards an

Emerging Mobile Society 100

5.4.8 Religion as an Offline Political Outreach 102

5.5 Conclusion 103

Chapter 6 Engaging Citizens from Above and from Below 109

6.1 Introduction 110

6.2 Political Engagement Practices at Regional and Local Governance

Levels 110

6.3 Findings and Analysis 114

6.3.1 Mobile Engagement, Access, and Politics 115

6.3.2 Experience and Community Interaction 117

6.3.3 Open-Door Policy, Favouritism, and Face-to-face Public

Engagement 117

6.3.4 Radio and Social Media Engagement 119

6.3.5 Politainment 121

6.4 Conclusion 123

Chapter 7 Mobile Social Media and Political Digital Literacy 127

7.1 Introduction 128

7.2 The Social Media Presence of Constituency Youth Forums 129

7.3 Findings and Analysis 129

7.3.1 Direct and Indirect Digital Democracy 130

7.3.2 Digital Politics: Leisure, Learning, and Labouring for Change 132

7.3.3 Affective Publics: The Personal and the Political 134

7.3.4 Political Networks are Community Networks 136

7.4 Conclusion 139

xiv

Chapter 8 Conclusion and Implications for Future Research 143

8.1 Introduction 144

8.2 Conclusions 144

8.2.1 What Kinds of Young People Participate in Regional and

Local Politics through the Mobile Phone, and What

Motivates Them to Engage? 147

8.2.1.1 What Categories of Young People Participate in

Regional and Local Politics? 147

8.2.1.2 What Motivates the Young to Participate in

Regional and Local Politics? 148

8.2.2 What Is the Nature of Young People’s Participation in

Politics through Mobile Phones? 150

8.2.3 To What Extent Are Young People Connecting with the

Government and Other Stakeholders on Mobile Phones? 151

8.3 Policy Implications, Limitations, and Future Research 152

References 155

Appendices 171

Appendix A: Permission Letter to the Regional Council 172

Appendix B: Permission Letter from the Regional Council 173

Appendix C: Guide for Semi-Structured Interviews with Representative

Youths from Ohangwena 174

Appendix D: Participant Observation of Regional Youth Forums’

Meetings 178

Appendix E: Semi-Structured Interview Guide with Political Leaders

and Other Stakeholders (Regional Councillors) 179

Appendix F: Focus Group Discussion with Representative Youths

from the Ohangwena Regional Youth Forum 181

Appendix G: List of the Young People Interviewed 184

Appendix H: List of the Regional and Local Authority Councillors

Interviewed 186

Summary 187

Samenvatting 191

Curriculum Vitae 195

Portfolio 197

Lecture courses attended during completion of this project 197

Conferences and academic meetings attended during completion

of this project 197

xv

List of publications related to this project 198

Journal articles 198

Newspapers articles 199

Media coverage and talks given during the completion of

this project 199

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APA

SSA, R (2021). Citizen Engagement Politics and Digital Media in Namibia. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/citizen-engagement-politics-and-digital-media-in-namibia

MLA 8th

Research, SSA. "Citizen Engagement Politics and Digital Media in Namibia" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/citizen-engagement-politics-and-digital-media-in-namibia . Accessed 13 May. 2021.

MLA7

Research, SSA. "Citizen Engagement Politics and Digital Media in Namibia". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021. Web. 13 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/citizen-engagement-politics-and-digital-media-in-namibia >.

Chicago

Research, SSA. "Citizen Engagement Politics and Digital Media in Namibia" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 13, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/citizen-engagement-politics-and-digital-media-in-namibia