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|
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, USA
Graduate Administrative Assistant, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN, USA
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