Social Media Use, Social Capital, and Political Participation among Nigerian University Students

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Published by Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain


The arrival of social media, dubbed Web 2.0, has reconfigured the media and political landscape as well as media-politics relations in a way that is supplying the citizens with more powers. By limiting the gate-keeping of information common to the mainstream media, the social media generally offer platforms for stimulating mass participation through their information dissemination and networking power. While pundits and prognosticators are of the view that social media platforms stimulate as well as attenuate youths’ community and political participation, findings remained inconclusive and are mostly skewed towards the examination of events in developed democracies. To offer a developing country perspective on the nexus between social media and political engagement among the youths, this study examined the democratising prowess of social media on Nigerian youths’ community participation and political participation. Situated within the social capital theoretical paradigm, representative samples of youths were drawn from two universities in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. The results showed that social media enhance the social capital and political participation of the youths, particularly during the period of national elections.



social media, social capital, political participation, Nigeria, university students


Mustapha, L. K., Gbonegun, V. O. & Mustapha, M. L. (2016). Social media use, social capital, and political participation among Nigerian university students. Tripodos, 39, 127-143