Title

Social Media, Social Design and Social Construction: Dialectic Approach for the Use of Social Media in the Public Sector

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Publication Source

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society

Volume

7

Issue

3

Inclusive pages

65-78

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

In this article, the authors argue the need for a “dialectic approach” to bring positive salience in current social media activities that focus on public participation at the community level and emphasize the needs of reflective public administrators and their praxis in terms of the ideas of dialectic, social construction and social design. The authors make a case for revamping our understanding of civic engagement through the use of social media in order to overcome one-sided epistemologies, such as functionalist or interpretive epistemologies, and to find a constructive way of recognizing the dialectical possibility and the complex influence of social media in public administration. The article concludes that the “public sphere” seems to be redefined at each turn by both citizens’ and administrators’ social network activities via both online and offline communication channels. New social media technologies complement the face-to-face encounters by helping community members participate in meaningful ways through activities ranging from understanding issues better, defining courses of action, and devising mechanisms to work towards solving concrete problems.

Keywords

Dialectic Approach, Social Media, Social Design, Social Construction

Disciplines

Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

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