Political Egos: Political Communication Networks and the Political Engagement of the Filipino Youth

Title: Political Egos: Political Communication Networks and the Political Engagement of the Filipino Youth

Abstract: Political knowledge, trust, and participation, collectively known as political engagement, are essential in a democracy. Guided by Lin’s Network Theory of Social Capital, this thesis examines how individuals, termed as egos in social network research, develop and harness their political communication networks for political engagement. Survey data was collected from a sample of 400 Filipino youth (15-24 years old) living in Metro Manila. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses derived from the propositions of Lin’s theory, which specified the relationships among individual, civic, and network characteristics, on the one hand, and political engagement, on the other. Based on its findings, the study concludes that a) individual and civic characteristics impact the quality of individuals’ political communication network, b) network characteristics determine the level of political engagement manifested by individuals, and c) networks mediate the effects of the individuals’ position in society on their political engagement. The results further suggest that although the Filipino youth are in a good position to access and mobilize politically relevant social capital, they exhibit low political engagement, which may be partly due to their lack of communication with others. Courses of action for pro-democracy stakeholders are recommended.

Keywords: political communication, youth studies, social network analysis, structural equation modeling

Bunquin, J. B. A. (2018). Political egos: Political communication networks and the political engagement of the Filipino youth. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

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