Building Electoral Support Network
Keywords:social network, electoral support, social communication agent, activists.
AbstractThe article investigates political activists. Being members of social networks they build a special type of mobilizing structures – electoral support networks; and the voters` behavior result from electoral preferences formed in social networks. Empirical part of the study is represented by the communicative techniques of activists. The author describes the methods that social activists use to inform social network members and to identify supporters. The article also investigates the network structure built by political activists. Findings reveal that electoral support network is a structure that engages different people with similar electoral preferences and common desire to cast their votes for a certain candidate (party); and all these people are connected through direct or indirect personal communications. Electoral support networks are derived from the existing social networks of political activists. Building electoral support network implies task-oriented policies involving distribution of information and identification. The article is based on the results of a social experiment aimed to assess the political interactions in social networks; the study was conducted during the mayoral election campaign in Surgut city in 2010.