Main topic

Serbian Political Thought

Hybrid Civic Activism as a Tool for Building Social Inclusion


Modern democracies around the world are threatened by growing political populism and intolerance. This fact is prominent especially in the Balkan region, where the effect of violent ethnic conflict is still present. Empirical data from this region registered low level of political engagement, high ethnic stereotyping and distance toward non-majority groups. We examined the effects of activism in real and virtual worlds on social distance toward minority groups, and how it is mediated by belief in a just world, political interest, political anomie and cynicism. We employed analysis of national representative survey data on adult citizens, collected through face to face method in Serbia in 2017 (N=1258). Survey design has been used to investigate the extent to which common forms of online/offline civic activity mediated by different psychological constructs foster offline forms of social inclusion of marginal groups. Results confirmed that both online and offline activities can have a positive effect on social inclusion in real world by reducing political anomie and cynicism and belief in a just world, and increasing political interest. This research
highlights the importance of fostering different types of civic activism because the impact of political engagement in the real and even more in the virtual world leads to a reduction of social distance toward minority groups in reality. Data suggested that broadening platforms for civic engagement could be an effective strategy in building social inclusion.

keywords :


    • Allen, M. W., Ng, S. H., & Leiser, D. (2005) “Adult economic model and values survey: Cross-national differences in economic beliefs”. Journal of economic psychology, 26(2): pp. 159-185.
    • Amichai‐Hamburger, Y., & McKenna, K. Y. (2006) “The contact hypothesis reconsidered: Interacting via the Internet”. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 11(3): pp. 825-843.
    • Appelbaum, L.D., Lennon, M. C., & Lawrence Aber, J. (2006) “When effort is threatening: The influence of the belief in a just world on Americans’ attitudes toward antipoverty policy”. Political Psychology, 27: pp. 387-402.
    • Bajović, T. (2013) “Post konfliktna demokratija: politička kultura studenata u Srbiji”. In: M. Blagojević, J. Jablanov Maksimovići T. Bajović (Eds.), (Post)sekularniobrt: Religijske, moralne i društveno-političke vrednosti studenata u Srbiji (pp. 199‒251). Beograd: Institut za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, Fondacija Konrad Adenauer, Centar za evropske studije.
    • Bennett, W. L., & Segerberg, A. (2012) “The logic of connective action: Digital media and the personalization of contentious politics”. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5): pp. 739-768.
    • Bogardus ES (1959) Social distance. Los Angeles: University of Southern California Press
    • Branković (2017) “Veštačka inteligencija i društvo”. Srpska politička misao, 56(2): pp. 13-34.
    • Browne, M. W., & Cudeck, R. (1993) “Alternative ways of assessing model fit. Testing Structural Equation Models”. In: In K. A. Bollen and J. S. Long (Eds.), Testing structural equation models.  Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
    • Byrne, B. M. (2001) “Structural equation modeling with AMOS, EQS, and LISREL: Comparative approaches to testing for the factorial validity of a measuring instrument”. International Journal of Testing, 1: pp. 55–86.
    • Castells (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope. Social Movements in the Internet age. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    • Dahlgren, P. (2000) “The Internet and the democratization of civic culture”. Political Communication, 17(4): pp. 335-340.
    • Dalbert, C. (2000) “Beliefs in a just world questionnaire”. In J. Maltby, C.A. Lewis, & A. Hill (Eds.), Commissioned reviews of 250 psychological Tests. Lampeter, Wales: Edwin Mellen Press: pp. 461-465.
    • Dalbert, C., Fisch, U., & Montada, L. (1992) “Is inequality unjust? Evaluating women’s career chances ». European Review of Applied Psychology/Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée: pp.11-18
    • Dalton, R. J. (2008) The good citizen: How a younger generation is reshaping American politics. Sage.
    • Dekker, H., & Nuus, M. (2007) “Political knowledge and its origins, including cognitive ability, political motivations, political cynicism, political education, and political and civic participation”. Wirkungs for schungzur politics hen Bildungimeuropäischen Vergleich, pp. 27-44.
    • Dulić, J. D. (2012) Političko-ideološke orijentacije i stranačke preferencije stanovnika Vojvodine, Doctoral dissertation, Univerzitet u Beogradu, Fakultet političkih nauka, pp. 1-251
    • Durkheim, E (1897) Suicide: A study in sociology. New York: Free Press.
    • Galston, W. A. (2001) “Political knowledge, political engagement, and civic education”. Annual review of political science, 4(1): pp. 217-234.
    • Gil de Zúñiga, H., Jung, N., & Valenzuela, S. (2012) “Social media use for news and individuals’ social capital, civic engagement and political participation”. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 17(3): pp. 319-336.
    • Gil de Zúñiga, H., Puig-i-Abril, E., & Rojas, H. (2009) “Weblogs, traditional sources online and political participation: An assessment of how the Internet is changing the political environment”. New media & society, 11(4): pp. 553-574.
    • Hafer, C. L., & Bègue, L. (2005) “Experimental research on just-world theory: problems, developments, and future challenges”. Psychological bulletin, 131(1): pp. 128.
    • Hafer, C. L. (2000) “Do innocent victims threaten the belief in a just world? Evidence from a modified Stroop task”. Journal of personality and social psychology, 79(2): pp. 165.
    • Furnham, A. (2003) “Belief in a just world: Research progress over the past decade”. Personality and individual differences, 34(5): pp. 795-817.
    • Furnham, A., & Procter, E. (1989) “Belief in a just world: Review and critique of the individual difference literature”. British journal of social psychology, 28(4): pp. 365-384.
    • Ivanov, J. (2008) “Međuetnički odnosi na Balkanu u svetlu etničke i konfensionalne distance”. In D. Đorđević& D. Todorović (Eds.), Kvalitet međuetničkih odnosa i kultura mira na Balkanu (pp. 59–76). Niš: Filozofski fakultet, Centar za sociološka istraživanja.
    • Kahne J, Bowyer B. (2018) “The political significance of social media activity and social networks”. Political Communication; pp. 1-24.
    • Kahne J, Middaugh E. (2012) “Digital media shapes youth participation in politics”. Phi Delta Kappan; 52: pp. 56-3.
    • Kalaba, I. (2013) “Čekajući regionalno pomirenje: student i nacionalizam u Srbiji”. In M. Blagojević, J. Jablanov Maksimović, & T. Bajović (Eds.), (Post)sekularniobrt: Religijske, moralne i društveno-političke vrednosti studenata u Srbiji (pp. 199‒251). Beograd: Institut za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, Fondacija Konrad Adenauer, Centar za evropske studije.
    • Kamble, S. V., & Dalbert, C. (2012) “Belief in a just world and wellbeing in Indian schools”. International Journal of Psychology, 47(4): pp. 269-278.
    • Kenski, K., & Stroud, N. J. (2006) “Connections between Internet use and political efficacy, knowledge, and participation”. Journal of broadcasting & electronic media, 50(2): pp. 173-192.
    • Mihić, V., &Mihić-Lisul, I. (2003) “Ethnic distance in primary school children and their parents”. Psihologija, 36: pp. 167‒182.
    • Miladinović, S. (2008) “Etnička i socijalna distance prema Romima”. Sociološki pregled, 42: pp. 417‒437.
    • Milošević-Đorđević, J. S., & Žeželj, I. L. (2017) “Civic activism online: Making young people dormant or more active in real life?. Computers in Human Behavior, 70: pp. 113-118.
    • Milošević Đorđević J. (2016) “The role of contact in reducing social distance of youth from the Balkans towards minority groups”. Primenjena psihologija, 8(4): pp. 415-432.
    • Milošević-Đorđević, J. S., & Žeželj, I. L. (2014) “Psychological predictors of addictive social networking sites use: The case of Serbia”. Computers in Human Behavior, 32: pp. 229-234.
    • Mohiyeddini, C., & Montada, L. (1998) “BJW and self-efficacy in coping with observed victimization”. Responses to victimizations and belief in a just world; pp. 41-54. Springer US.
    • Pasek, J., More, E., & Romer, D. (2009) “Realizing the social internet? Online social networking meets offline civic engagement”. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 6: pp. 197–215.
    • Pasek, J., Kenski, K., Romer, D., & Jamieson, K. H. (2006) “America’s youth and community engagement: How use of mass media is related to civic activity and political awareness in 14-to 22-year-olds”. Communication Research, 33(3): pp. 115-135.
    • Pavlović, Z. (2013) “Prediktori izborne apstinencije mladih u Srbiji”. Primenjena psihologija, 6(1): pp. 5-21.
    • Schyns, P., & Nuus, M. (2007) “Political cynicism and social cohesion in Europe and the United States”. Social capital and governance: Old and New members of the EU in comparison, pp. 91-103.
    • Tufekci, Z., & Wilson, C. (2012) “Social media and the decision to participate in political protest: Observations from Tahrir Square”. Journal of Communication, 62(2): pp. 363-379.
    • Šram, Z. (2007) “Anomie, Depressiveness, and Anti-Western Orientation”. Revija za sociologiju, 38(3-4): pp. 103-118.
    • Zhao, R., & Cao, L. (2010) “Social change and anomie: A cross-national study”. Social forces, 88(3): pp. 1209-1229.
    • Zhu, Q., Skoric, M., & Shen, F. (2017) “I Shield Myself From Thee: Selective Avoidance on Social Media During Political Protests”. Political Communication, 34(1): pp. 112-131.
    • Skoric, M. M., Zhu, Q., Goh, D., & Pang, N. (2016) “Social media and citizen engagement: A meta-analytic review”. New media & society, 18(9): pp. 1817-1839.
    • Žeželj, I. L., Ioannou, M., Franc, R., Psaltis, C., & Martinovic, B. (2017) “The role of inter-ethnic online friendships in prejudice reduction in post-conflict societies: Evidence from Serbia, Croatia and Cyprus”. Computers in Human Behavior, 76: pp. 386-395.
    • Valenzuela, S., Arriagada, A., & Scherman, A. (2012) “The social media basis of youth protest behavior: The case of Chile”. Journal of Communication, 62(2): pp. 299-314.
    • Van Aelst, P., & Walgrave, S. (2002) “New media, new movements? The role of the internet in shaping the ‘anti‐globalization’movement”. Information, Communication & Society, 5(4): pp. 465-493.
    • Vergeer, M., Lubbers, M., & Scheepers, P. (2000) “Exposure to newspapers and attitudes toward ethnic minorities: A longitudinal analysis”. Howard Journal of Communications, 11(2): pp. 127-143.
    • Vesković Anđelković, M., & Bobić, M. (2015) “Stavovi građana središnjeg dijela Srbije prema utjecaju doseljenika na tradiciju i kulturu njihove lokalne zajednice”. Migracijske i etničke teme, 31(2): pp. 221-246.
    • Quan-Haase, A., Wellman, B., Witte, J. C., & Hampton, K. N. (2002) “Capitalizing on the net: Social contact, civic engagement, and sense of community”. The Internet in everyday life, pp. 291-324.
PERIODICS Serbian Political Thought 2/2018 2/2018 UDC: 316.334.3:316.64 15-32