WhatsApp Political Expression and Political Participation: The Role of Ethnic Minorities’ Group Solidarity and Political Talk Ethnic Heterogeneity
Online political activity takes many forms. Most research has heavily focused on the effects of these online behaviors on political participation in platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. This article focuses instead on WhatsApp, and compares how self-effects and acculturation theories have different predictions with regard to the mechanisms that explain the relationship between Latinxs’ political expression on this mobile instant messaging application and political participation. Results showed that Latinxs’ political expression through WhatsApp is related to their offline political participation. However, the direct and mediated relationship through group solidarity is dependent on political talk ethnic heterogeneity. The relationship among self-effects on acculturation processes is discussed as one potential explanation for understanding the complex ways in which perceptions of ethnic group solidarity, political talk ethnic heterogeneity, WhatsApp political expression, and offline political participation interact.