Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program



Sherkat, Darren E.


This study examines how media consumption and social capital impact civic participation. Although several studies have been conducted on the issue of media effects and social capital, mostly in the area of political participation, fewer studies have explored their impact on civic participation. This study therefore expands the literature on the issue of civic participation by looking at the effects of using different media types such as: television, newspapers, radio, and the Internet, in addition to having a certain level of social capital, in order to engage in civic activities. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression technique was used in analyzing data from the 2008 American National Election Survey, in examining past civic participation and future civic participation separately. The results show modest support for the models. However, education and social connectedness (a dimension of social capital) as measured by community work, membership in one or more social/political organizations, and discussing politics with family and friends, were the most important for explaining both past and future civic participation.