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POLITICAL AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION IN NEPAL: FACEBOOK USES TRENDS AND ITS ROLES IN THEIR PARTICIPATION By A SANAM BHAILA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2013 A Sanam Bhaila
This thesis is dedicated to my wonderful parents and l ovely wife. This milestone would not have been possible without your love, support, and encouragement. So, I thank you for this.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my sincere thanks to my advisor, Dr. Wayne Wanta, for hi s continuous support durin g my m guidance, expertise and constructive criticism I would not have succeeded in completing this thesis. I am grateful for all the time he provided to help me develop my idea, knowledge, and als o research skills. I would also like to thank my other committee members: Ms. Mindy McAdams, and Michael Leslie for their invaluable insights and comments. I would also like to thank the wonderful faculty, staff and students at the University of Florida for making my experience here so amazing and rewarding. My short stay at the University of Florida was a great honor. Having the opportunity to study here with an accomplished faculty member is a dream come true for me. My sincere thanks also to the diffe rent colleges and campuses in Nepal that provided me the opportunity to do my survey with their students. I would also like to show my appreciation to all the students who helped me complete my thesis by being willing to take part in my survey. I appreciat e the volunteers associated with organization called the Integrated Effort for Development Nepal. They are truly worthy of great appreciation for facilitating my survey data collection. Last but not least, I am grateful to my family and friends who helped to build the ideas and discussions for the study. My thesis would not have been possible without their encouragement and support.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 6 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 9 CHAPTER 1 BACKGROUND ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 15 Public Sphere Theory: Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ ...... 15 Participations ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 18 Youth Participation ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 21 Private and Public Schools in Nepal ................................ ................................ ....................... 23 Decline of Public Sphere in Nepal ................................ ................................ .......................... 24 Virtual Sphere and Political Participation in Nepal ................................ ................................ 28 A Look Back at the Advent of the Internet and Its Progress in Nepal ................................ ... 30 Internet Communication in Democratic Engagement ................................ ............................ 32 Internet, Facebook and Their Effect on Youth Participation in South [East] Asian Regions ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 34 Popular Social Media Trends and Their Context in Nepal ................................ ..................... 36 Use of Internet and Social Media by Nepali Media and Journalists ................................ ....... 39 3 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 44 General Information ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 46 Personal Values ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 46 Political Participation ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 47 Civic Participation ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 47 Online Civic and Political Participatio n ................................ ................................ ................. 48 Media/News Consumption Habit and the Internet/Facebook Use ................................ ......... 48 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 51 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 76 APPENDIX: SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ ................ 87 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 93 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 100
6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 NTA Annual Reports 2011 2013 ................................ ................................ ....................... 43 4 1 Total Student Participation (N) Between Public vs. Private Institutions and Upper vs. Lower Undergraduate Level ................................ ................................ .............................. 62 4 2 Descriptive Statistics for Political Participation and Civic Participation of Lower and Upper Undergraduate Level in Public Institute vs. Private Institutes ................................ 62 4 3 Multivariate Tests for Lower vs. Upper; Public vs. Private; and Lower vs. Upper Public vs. Private ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 62 4 4 Group Statistics Between Political and Civic Participation for Public and Private Institutes ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 63 4 5 t test Results Comparing Political and Civic Participation of students in Public and Private Institutes ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 63 4 6 Frequency for Active and Non Active Facebook Users ................................ .................... 63 4 7 Frequency for Reason for Creating Facebook Account ................................ ..................... 64 4 8 Frequency for Length of Time Using Facebook ................................ ................................ 64 4 9 ................................ .......................... 64 4 10 Frequency for Hours/Day Facebook Use ................................ ................................ ........... 65 4 11 Crosst ab Between User and Non Users of PCs and Laptops to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes ................................ ................................ ............................... 65 4 12 Chi Square Tests for User and Non Users of PCs and Laptops to Access Facebook in Pr ivate and Public Institutes ................................ ................................ ............................... 66 4 13 Crosstab Between User and Non Users of Cell Phones to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 66 4 14 Chi Square Tests for User and Non Users of Cell Phones to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes ................................ ................................ ............................... 66 4 15 Crosstab Between User and Non Users of All Devices to Acce ss Facebook in Private and Public Institutes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 67 4 16 Chi Square Tests for User and Non Users of Other Mobile Devices to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes ................................ ................................ .......... 67
7 4 17 Crosstab Between Device Most Use to Access Facebook by Private and Public Institutes Students ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 68 4 18 Chi Square Tests for Device Most Use to A ccess Facebook by Private and Public Institutes Students ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 68 4 19 Week, Political Participation and Civic Partici pation ................................ ........................ 69 4 20 and Student Political and Civic Participation ................................ ................................ .... 69 4 21 Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and News Source ................... 70 4 22 ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and News Source Combination ...... 70 4 23 Political and Civic Participation ................................ ................................ ........................ 71 4 24 ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Facebook Group Page Members and Non Members ................................ ................................ ............................. 71 4 25 Descriptive Statistic for Political and Civic Participation, and College Student book Group Members ................................ ................................ ........ 71 4 26 ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and College Student Members ................................ ......... 72 4 27 Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and University Facebook Group ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 72 4 28 ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation and University Facebook Group Members and Non Members ................................ ................................ ............................. 72 4 29 Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and Facebook Political Group Page/s ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 73 4 30 ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Facebook Political Group Page/s Members and Non Members ................................ ................................ .................. 73 4 31 Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Part icipation and Facebook News Portal Page/s Member ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 73 4 32 ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Facebook News Portal Page/s Member and Non Members ................................ ................................ ................... 74 4 33 Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and Social/Civic Organization Facebook Page Member ................................ ................................ ............... 74
8 4 34 ANOVA Between Political and Civ ic Participation, and Social/Civic Organization Facebook Page Members ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 74 4 35 Correlations Between Facebook Features Usage and Group Page Types ......................... 75
9 Abstract o f Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication ST FACEBOOK USES, TRENDS AND ITS ROLES IN THEIR PARTICIPATION By A Sanam Bhaila December 2013 Chair: Wayne Wanta Major: Mass Communication Since the 1950s, Nepalese undergraduate students from the public schools have made many great contributions One of the main purposes of the private schools, however, was to enroll those students who were less interested i n or not interested in student politics unlike those in the public insti tutions. The private school setting encourages the students to be less politically and civically active. Meanwhile, media development and the rise of private educational institutions were two major outcomes of the political and social transformations. The increase in the use of the Internet to access the social networking site, Facebook, is also one of the latest outcomes of the media development in Nepal. The increasing popularity of Facebook is even greater among undergraduate level students from both pri vate and public institutions. The purpose of this study is to measure the existing level of political and civic participation of the students in private and public colleges, who are on the upper and lower undergraduate level. Other areas to explore include s The results of a survey conducted by the author during July August 2012 showed that Nepalese undergraduate students in lower levels of public schools were more politically active
10 Students in higher levels of public schools are more civically active. The study also found that students in public schools show greater political and civic participation even today The impact of Facebook on political and civic participation varied betw een the students in public and private institutes. The study also discusse d some of the major patterns of outcomes Facebook uses such as the kinds of devices used to access Facebook, reason s for creating Facebook pages frequency of Facebook access by the students per day, and amount of time spen t on Facebook. There was a positive correlation between the civic and political participations of the student and the news they obtained from Facebook and other online sources, the amount of time they spen t on Face book, and those who were members of a college Facebook group page.
11 CHAPTER 1 BACKGROUND Since the inception of the first constitutional monarchy in 1950, Nepal has been a vibrant but politically unstable country. The past six decades have seen various e xperiments with different forms of government in the pursuit of democracy. However, many political crises have obstructed this pursuit of democracy. The crises include d events such as the monarch and the political parties who jointly overthrew the 107 year old Rana regime and established a constitutional monarchy in the 1950s. Later, the monarchy took power from the political parties after having fought jointly against the Rana regime. Then in 1979, King Birendra allowed a nationwide referendum (explained b elow). In the early 1990s a constitutional monarchy was reestablished. This was followed by the rise of Maoist insurgency in the 1990s, followed by the Duri ng this unrest, however, the country had a taste of democracy; there was a rise in private sector enterprises including private media and private educational institutions and student civic and political participation. The generations that grew up after the mid 20 th century have been through different types of rulings and administrations such as the monopoly and authoritarian monarchy, the party less Panchayat System (a council of ministers handpicked by the King to help run the administration), a failed mul tiparty democracy, and even communism. But none of them succeeded in providing long term stability. The country and its people are still in pursuit of the type of democracy that suits them best. During these phases, young university students helped shape t participation of young educated people. The exclusion of student politics in the rising number of private educational institutions at all le vels, including at the undergraduate level, is said to have
12 created a political gap between private and public enrollees. Meanwhile, media development has helped the political and civic participation of all people, including undergraduate level students (U LS). Media development and youth political and civic participation have always moved in conjunction with one another to help Nepal in its pursuit of the democratic form that suits the country best and lasts over time, as discussed below. Since the 1990s, o pen access to the Internet in Nepal, as in many countries around the world, has become a sign of a developing democracy. Nepal has seen a rise in the use of the Internet and new media. In 2010, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) indicated that the total number of Internet users in Nepal increased by160 percent. Many Internet users use their cell phones for Internet accessibility. A similar effect is seen in the media among journalists (Acharya et al., 2012, p. 8). Even for journalists, Facebook has become the second biggest source of news, and plays a role in civic and political participation (Acharya et al., 2012, p. 18). With this background, the focus of this study is to measure the existing gap in political and civic participation between students in public and private undergraduate institutions (schools/colleges). Private institutions were created after the increase in the number of private undergraduate institutions, which was one of the aftermaths of the rise in private sector enterprise habits and the role of the Internet and the social networking site, Facebook, on its development. Undergraduate students from two public and two private undergraduate inst itutions were approached for a survey to assess their levels of political and civic participation. The survey also attempted to measure the role of the Internet and the use of Facebook consumption and their political and civic participati on habits.
13 In Nepal, there are two categories of public educational institutions at all levels, and all of them receive some form of financial support from the government. Thus, they are called public (government) schools. Aided public schools receive reg ular government grants, and unaided public schools do not receive regular grants from the government. On the other hand, all levels of the private educational institutions are financed, managed and regulated by bodies other than the government, which inclu profit organizations or religious institutions (Thapa, 2011, p. 31). These private institutions do not institutional schools This ty pe of categorization for public and private financing structure applies to all six levels (sections) of present day educational systems. According to the Ministry of Education (MOE), the sections can be listed as: Pre primary equivalent to below Grade 1; P rimary equivalent to Grade 1 to 5; Lower Secondary equivalent to Grade 6 to 8; Secondary equivalent to Grade 9 and 10; Higher Secondary equivalent to Grade 11 and 12 and Higher Education equivalent to the University level (MOE, 2010). The university level includes the undergraduate level, post undergraduate level, and higher. Unlike in the United States, undergraduate programs in Nepal offer flexible 3, 4, or 5 year programs depending on the discipline (The United States educational foundation in Nepal [USE F], 2013). This study included two colleges (1 public and 1 private) that follow the 4 year curriculum, and two colleges (1 public and 1 private) that follow the 3 year curriculum. The first year of undergraduate level in Nepal is equivalent to the freshm an year in the United States; the second year is equivalent to the sophomore year, and so forth. Two undergraduate level colleges
14 enrolled in three years undergradua te disciplines. Many disciplines in the undergraduate level in Nepal still follow a three year curriculum (MOE, 2010); USEF, 2013). Thapa (2011) writes that public and private colleges in Nepal also vary in their sizes, missions, influence, availability an d employment of resources, average cost per student, quality of teachers and teaching facilities, monetary and non monetary contribution and involvement in 33). Those student s enrolled in private educational institutions are gaining the upper hand in comparison to those enrolled in the public educational institutions, because the private institutions that are better managed are equipped with a better school environment that he lps in developing students who are better motivated. Further, this team work between the students and the management in the private schools is also backed up by better homes and community of the students enrolled in the private institutions. Political infl uence is another feature that affect(ed) private and public schools differently in Nepal about which is discussed below (Thapa, 2011; Snellinger, 2005; Caddell, 2006, 2007).
15 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Public Sphere Theory: Conceptual Framework This st existing gap in civic and political participation between students in public and private undergraduate institutions (schools) in Nepal post 1950. Following this contextual t rajectory, many attributes of the public sphere theory address the changes that occurred in Nepalese society, politics and educational system, economy and media since the inception of the first constitutional monarchy in 1950. Habermas (1989/1962) outlined the evolution of the public sphere in the 17 th and 18 th centuries and its decline in the 20 th century. Looking at Nepalese history, it could be said that the country and its people have gone through similar phases more than once since the 1950s. The noti on of civil society that Habermas (1989/1962) mainly dealt with, explained the public sphere and the kind of society that existed in Western Europe. Nonetheless, we can presume that for the first time, the public sphere was becoming a domain of the Nepales e social life from the 1950s movement onwards. Public opinions were formed out of rational public debates, which according to Habermas, plays a crucial part in democracy (Habermas, 1989/1962). Similar public opinions picked up during the 1950s in Nepal, ex cept that the public sphere occurred in the initiation of newly formed political parties (then the rebels). They were overthrew the Rana regime (Snellinger, 2005; BBC News, 2013). The rebels, most of whom were also students, had fled to India in 1947 and started the undertaking by participating in the student movement called Jayatu Sanksritam (Victory to Sanskrit) (Snellinger, 2005). This was the first student prot est against the Rana regime on record.
16 Similarly, in May 1979, King Birendra allowed a nationwide referendum as a response to to choose between a multi par of established their respective extensions within student bodies. Thus, these student organizations short, it was because the joint student bodies agreed to support the political parties that the country was able to overthrow the Panchayat system a decade later. The movement carried out on the streets by students duri 29), but also presented a glimpse of future leaders to the general public, representing them on the he coming wrong with the country (Snellinger, 2005, p. 29). Snellinger (2005), however, points out that after the 1990s movement, youth participation saw a timel y downfall that allowed political groups as well as the royal family to take advantage of the unstable political situation. early 2000s to the mid 2000s. In 2002, King G yanendra first disrupted the parliamentary process, and by 2005, he was imposing authoritarian rule (Snellinger, 2005). This triggered the awakening of a new wave of student participation. The initial student protest in 2002 was to criticize an oil price h ike, to which the government under the King responded by conceding to their demands. Despite this concession, the student bodies later joined their mother organizations
17 to support the ongoing movement against the authoritarian monarchy (Snellinger, 2005). They went so far as to declare their student bodies independent from their mother organizations, when required, for political autonomy. Snellinger (2005) also mentions that during the struggle, suspected politically active and several charismatic students who were suspected of being politically active, were tracked down by the state, along with other political leaders, for being political threats. It is noticeable that the university level students were the common denominator in each of the major political transitions that are discussed above: the 1950s overthrowing of Rana regime and installation of the first constitutional monarchy; the 1979 nationwide referendum; the 1990s ovement that established the Republic of Nepal by overthrowing the 239 year old monarchy (Chand, 2011; Acharya, 2009; Thapa & Sharma, 2009; Nepal, n.d. ; The New York Times, 2008). Meanwhile, it is also important to understand that the university level stud ents included mostly students from public educational institutions. Habermas (1974; 1989) explains that the rise of a new class, the bourgeoisie, along with the rise of media played a big role in the public sphere in 17th and 18th century in Europe. The p ublic sphere as a sphere which mediates between society and state, in which the public organizes itself as the bearer of public opinion, accords with the principle of the public sphere that principle of public information which once had to be fought for ag ainst the arcane policies of monarchies and which since that time had made possible the democratic control of the state activities (Habermas 1974, p. 50). During each of the Nepalese political transitions mentioned above, the concept of the public sphere a nd public opinion in the Nepalese community saw an increase in a similar fashion as it did in the 18 th century Europe as discussed by Habermas (1989/1962). During these transitions in Nepal from the 1950s onwards, the educated university level student grou ps were
18 society of 17 th and 18 th century Europe. Just as Habermas suggests, there was a space formed and realized between the economy and polity in Nepal where the N informed and discussed the recent political developments (events/activities) and acted upon debating societies) were beginning to d evelop and became available to the Nepalese public just about this time. The development of these types of media are still in progress. The communicative forum (the media) was similar to what Habermas saw as a model for the public sphere that facilitated rational and critical debates amongst the public (citizens). Such debates y as explained in the following passages. Participations Freedom of the press and freedom of expression have been disrupted in Nepal on many occasions over these years of hig h political instability. Events related to the harassment of journalists and censorship of traditional media by the state, the monarchy, and the Maoists have been reported time and again. On August 1986, Panchayat government forces attacked a journalist na med Padam Thakurathi, who was almost killed (Human Right Watch, 1989; Adhikari, 2007). The NPI further reports that this incident ignited a major political event. Thakurathi condemned the Panchayat system, and was backed by Nepalese media professionals (pr ess) and university student union s. According to NPI (2010), the Nepalese media played a Party (NCP) and other leftist parties backed by student unions (Snellinger, 2005). This was
19 especially true during the last 50 days before the end of the partyless Panchayat System that forced King Birendra to re establish the constitutional monarchy in 1990 (NPI, 2010; Chand, 2011). lestones since the parliament was re n.d. ). Prior to the 1990s, there were only s tate owned television and radio broadcasting, and two major newspapers, Gorkhapatra and The Raising Nepal that are published in Nepali and English languages, respectively (Duwadi, 2010, p. 211). Even though Nepali journalism had a long history, it did not establish a constitutional Panchayat System, offered provisions that attracted private investments in t he media sector there was a boom in Nepali media in all three sectors of old media, including newspaper, television, and radio, along with the new media the Intern et. Since then, there have been 6,181 newspapers registered throughout the country as of mid March 2012. That includes 494 daily, 35 bi weekly, 2,346 weekly, 431 fortnightly, 1,841 monthly, 321 two monthly, 529 tri monthly, and 35 quarterly papers. Four th ousand two hundred and seventy five of these are published in Nepali. Another 457 are in English, and 1,030 are bilingual (Nepali/English) (Central Bureau of Statistics [CBS], 2011). There are also publications that can be found in more than a dozen other languages (CBS, 2011). Likewise, there are 15 privately owned television channels broadcasting within the country, apart from NTV, which is a government owned TV network (CBS, 2011). CBS also
20 claims that during the fiscal year 2011/12 there were 721 licens ed cable TV operators. The number of privately owned radio broadcast stations experienced a big increase during this time as well. During the same fiscal year, there were 341 out of 400 registered radio broadcasting stations that operated along with the go vernment owned radio station, Radio Nepal (CBS, 2011). media suppression in Nepal (Nepal, n.d. ). Media developed during this phase would play a big role in mobilizing the political and civic participation of young citizens during the 2006 decade long Maoist insurgency. This increase in private sectors during the 1990s also saw a temporary decline of the Nonetheless, the students were again seen in the political for efront throughout several political events since the late 1990s until these events led up to the one that shaped the overthrow of the monarchy in 2008. The overthrow of the monarchy resembles the transformation of the European feudal estates that later bec as already established), developed into a sphere consisting of bourgeois society holding private autonomy of their own (Habermas, 1974, p. 51). The second constitutional monarchy of 1990s and present day republic and secular Nepal (The New York Times, 2008 ) is a reflection of the representative public sphere. According to Habermas (1974), such outcomes are the results of the
21 The bourgeois public sphere could be understood as the sphere of private individuals assembled into a public body which almost immediately laid claim to authority itself (p. 51). Youth Participation This provides a perfect place to pitch the worldwide understanding of young ci political and civic participation (youth participation), followed by how it has been affected by y incident in which young people show their involvement in the institutions and decisions affecting them. Likewise, the icipation] can become a source of tremendous 2010; Xu, 2007, p. 622). Checkoway (2010) further talks about the importance of youth participation in helping to buil d expertise. This type of participation makes the youth informed and able to practice their rights, which is important in a democratic society. It is a right that is protected by the Convention of Rights of the Child on which Checkoway presents the followi ng historical information: The first declaration of rights was adopted by the International Save the Children Union in Geneva in1923, and endorsed by the League of Nations General Assembly in 1924, as the World Child Welfare Charter. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1959, and was the basis for the Convention of the Rights of the Child adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989 (p. 340). ffairs (MoFA), Nepal joined the United Nations on December 14, 1955 (MoFA, 2013), which is about the time in regime. As discussed above, many national hurdles in Nepa l have been overcome via the civic
22 and political participation of young people, especially the participation of college students. Every time the nation called for a change, this group of youths (the Nepalese students) responded and pushed the nation throug h each of the transitions. and its outcomes. Since the 1950s, Nepalese students are seen at the forefront of the struggle for statehood democracy and making radical po litical demands. Nevertheless, there is a give and take relationship between mainstream politics and student political and civic participation. An article published in a national online news portal ( http://www.gorkhapatraonline.com/trn/world/1203 students in politics nu.html ) (gorkhapatraonline.com, n.d. ) suggests that it is not wrong to say the Nepalese concept of college t role in Nepalese mainstream politics puts them in a unique position. The mainstream political parties serve as the mother organization for these college student political organizations (wings). It is important that almost all the political parties have a desire for their youth wings to be present in every major educational institutions at all levels. At the same time many popular present day political leaders, in almost all political dent wings (Gorkhapatraonline, n.d. ). movements presenting a glimpse of future leaders during the overthrow of the Panchayat system. 2011) report, some of those youth wings even had influence on for open public projects like road, bridge or building constructions), taxation and other activit ies that have to do with mainstream political space, development and public security. If the youth
23 wings are not involved in national interests, many youth wings are at least active in low profile public or community activities organized by their respectiv e mother organizations (Carter Center, 2011). Private and Public Schools in Nepal Post involvements by the Nepalese students, which Snellinger (2005) believes was due to a change th at occurred in the Nepalese education system. Post The Nepalese government allowed this growth of privately owned scho ols to make up for its own inability to provide enough public educational institutions. As far as Snellinger (2005) is civic participation in the post 1990 p are easy targets for the political strikes that are common in Nepal, private schools make this issue politic al organizations and political parties are not felt in the privately owned educational institutions (Snellinger, 2005, p. 37). After the establishment of new universities in the 1990s, the commercialization of education, including in higher education (uni versity level) came at a price. The students at the private higher education institutions paid higher tuition in comparison to public universities and taught job oriented courses such as engineering and medicine (Hachhethu, 2004). The CBS (2011) reports th at just 7.5% of Nepali students were enrolled in private schools until 1995 1996 at all levels. The number increased to 16.7% in 2003 2004. By the year 2010 2011, the numbers increased to 26.8% (CBS, 2011). As a result, citizens who were trained under priv ate educational facilities were normally better off economically because they can (are) better qualified for
24 private sector jobs and peruse towards them. At the same time, according to Snellinger (2005), the political class, those who were graduates from t he lesser rated and poor public schools, This is one of the major factors that widened the political gap between these two groups of young citizens. According to the CB enrolled in public institutions (CBS, 2011, p. 83) schools and colleges. The number of enrollees in the private schools began to increase over the years, but more than half of students s till attend public schools, even in urban areas. However, 80% are in public school in rural areas (CBS, 2011). Decline of Public Sphere in Nepal The public sphere is important for a modern society in that it serves as a forum in which citizens collectively discuss topics that are relevant and informative to themselves about the elites of the society (Gerhards & Schfer, 2009, p. 2). The elites may include the one s involved in political, economic and other sectors of society (p. 2). Out of several normative theories that explain how the public sphere should be structured to meet the task of developing norms for a country like Nepal, it can be stated that the ideal be implemented to explain the situation of the public sphere in Nepal. As far as the participatory model of the public sphere is concerned communication can be considered better when it includes many act ors with plural evaluations and arguments. Gerhards & Schfer (2009) also mentioned that Habermas (1989, 1992 and 1998) indicates support for this model. It may have been possible that the necessary p lurality was something that was missing in the Nepalese public sphere despite the increase in media in the last quarter of the 20th century which is explained below.
25 So far, by analyzing Nepalese history since the 1950s through mid 2000s, it is noted that there have participation, media development, and increases in private schools along with other private sectors. This passage of history has also helped in the evolution of a divided public sphere and political participation by the Nepalese students as explained here Habermas (1989/1962) claimed that there was a decline of the public sphere in the 20 th century. Habermas was also very critical about the fact that the old media were unable to promote the public sphere because the old media isolated people from the publ ic realm Such a decline was seen in Nepalese (public) student participation after the 1990s, which Snellinger (2005 ) mentioned in her work. Snellinger claims that the nation was entering into privatization (i.e., an increase in private schools) that could have caused the decline. It is important to attempt to connect the dots between these various aspects: claims on the decrease ; an increase in privatization and an increase in the number of private school s; t he rapid increase in the "old" mass media, TV stations, radio and newspapers in Nepal, right about the time period during which Habermas developed his critical view towards the old media vs the public sphere, and the effect of the market economy on th e old media in respect to its 20 th the public sphere it is participation, along with the increase in private school s in Nepal. The increase of the old mass media in Nepal could have failed to promote free and plural communication as mentioned by was an outcome of the increase of private market economy post 1 990s can be considered a basis for the claim; because it also increased the number of old media that carried the same features such as explained above According to Habermas (1989, 1992 and 1998)
26 the old media did not consider the pl urality in communication that is important for public sphere. These growing media could have isolated the students from one another by affecting the way they participated in political and social issues in the past that was necessary for public sphere. Thei r isolation from old practices added to the already existing gap created by the private schools. Therefore, it may be safe to say that it was the combination of the two, an increase in private school s and the increasing availability of the old media that c ould have contributed in promoting the decline in political participation of the Nepalese students. Now, going back to the "participatory" (or "discursive") model, it is described as (1) an on one casual communication between citizens in everyday places (like coffee shops and saloons) where the public discusses various protest that influenced society a with a reach far exceeding the previous two, but which discarded the public as a passive receiver media (newspaper or television) was their biased nature due to economic pressures and political preferences. These were quite the case as far as the Nepalese media and Nepalese public sphere were concerned. Revisiting the incident about Padam Thakurathi, who was almost killed (Human Right Watch, 1989; Adhikari, 2007); lack of non governmental media until the 1990s; the 2000 2005, government imposed strict media censorship (Sedhai, 2012; also read Freedom House, 2012) explain how these historic events affe cted the public sphere in Nepal. Another reason for the lack of political consciousness and passive observation of the political situation in Nepal has to do with (1) the lack or restriction on political freedom to affiliation (Snellinger, 2005); (2) the lack of proper social
27 study courses that teach real democratic norms, which are common courses in democratic countries; and (3) there is little effort to question the kind of nationalist history being taught, which i s the outcome of the embedded memorization culture in the Nepalese education system (Snellinger, 2005). Concluding her analysis, Snellinger (2005) finds significance in inclusive politics. She emphasizes the importance of communication and the representati Political parties, through the political affiliated student organizations run by student politicians, fight for their access and reach out to the newly e nrolled undergraduate students. Snellinger (2005) provides evidence that the political affiliated student organizations increase their reach to public secondary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities for political indoctrination of young and new ly enrolled undergraduate students starting from their first (freshmen) year of undergraduate level schooling. Snellinger (2005, p. 37) specifies that such of free party affiliations. Therefore, it may be true that not all the new enrollees, in their freshmen year are always interested in political participation. But at the same time, the past few any political transition without some kind of contribution from students from all levels of undergraduate study at different public their freshmen year may eventually generate interest in politics at some point during the completion of their undergraduate courses in Nepal. As a result, there is always a regular and required supply of services from the young students from public college, who Snellinger (2005) years. So, it may be plausible that the level of political participation increases subsequently in
28 later years (sophomore, junior and senior) during undergraduate study among the Nepalese students in the publi c colleges, including the ones who unwillingly take part in some kind of political participation in their first years. This study will seek to identify the nature and magnitude of relationships between civic and political engagement of undergraduate studen ts with their level (year) of undergraduate study by using the following hypothesis: H1: Nepalese undergraduate students enrolled in their lower level (1 st and 2 nd year) are less politically and civically active than students in the upper level (3 rd and 4 t h year) of schooling in public undergraduate institutions. Meanwhile, private schools are designed to allow for the practice of little or no political activity on campus. Those who wanted their schooling free from politics, were least interested in interrupted by politics, could choose private education (Snellinger, 2005, p. 37). So, it can also be hypothesized that: H2: Nepalese undergraduate students enrolled in all levels in private educational institutions demonstrate lower levels of civic and political activity than undergraduate students enrolled in public undergraduate institutions. Based on these discussions, it would not be wrong to state that most of the y outh participations so far have usually been the result of turnouts from public university students. According to Snellinger (2005), their role has a huge effect on the ways Nepali mainstream politics function, despite the fact that these students represen t only a small portion of their age group. Virtual Sphere and Political Participation in Nepal actors (elites such as media owners, political leaders and even the king) of society by excluding smaller organizations and civil society and essentially breaking public debate (Habermas, 1989/1962). Nepal was no exception. But in Nepal, it is a little known fact that unofficial
29 Internet news portals and blogs provided news abou t the country to the outside world when former king Gyanendra imposed authoritarian rule and shut down Internet access during the 2005 2006 uprising (Sedhai, 2012). Even though the government was able to restrict other forms of media, and shut down the Int ernet, the government officials knew little about blogs. Blogs (Sedhai 2012) that helped the outside world impose international pressure on Gyanendra in soldiers into various media houses. In 2005, government imposed strict med ia censorship. However, these efforts failed to crack down on the virtual sphere, the Internet. The uprising of 2005 2006 eventually contributed to the end of the monarchy, during which Internet access played crucial role. Shedhai (2012), further reports this significant change in the Nepalese Internet media landscape is greatly important. Slowly but surely, since its first inception, the Internet has television and r adio that were still fairly new to the Nepali public. Today, the Internet and its features are becoming ever more accessible to the Nepalese public as a legitimate source of information and Shedhai (2012) sees it surpassing old media in certain aspects. At Kantipur Publications, now ekantipur.com, Nepal Republic Media's myrepublica.com, onlinekhabar.com, International Media Network Nepal's thehimalayantimes.com, mysansar.com, and nepal news.com have garnered a monopoly of print media within a few years ( The Kathmandu Post, 2012). Th is is quite similar to what many scholars, including political scientists and media researchers, believe when they say that the Internet possesses the potential to change the way
30 societies communicate over time. Their studies signal that Internet communica tion can provide a better public sphere than old media has been able to do so far (van Os et al., 2007). The following section will verify whether this claim holds true and is applicable to the scenario in and its evolution in Nepalese context. A L ook B ack at the A dvent of the Internet and I ts P rogress in Nepal Even though the government owned Royal Nepal Academy for Science and Technology (RONAST) provided the first email services and marked the advent of Internet technology in Nepal, it was the private sector that introduced the Internet to the public (Gyanwali, 2009; Montgomery, 2002). In 1994, an initiative of the Mercantile Office System first made commercial e mail services available for use by the pub lic. Later, the Ministry of Information and Communication issued licenses to two other Internet Service Providers (ISPs), World Link Communications and Computer Land Communication System (Gyanwali, 2009). Per the Telecommunication Act of 1997, a new tele communication regulatory body, the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), was formed in 1998. By the early 2000s, the majority of those few Nepalese Internet users had already started using the Internet for various purposes, such as e mail, chatting, dow nloading games, and music (Montgomery, 2002). Montgomery (2002) further states that Internet technology was more popular among younger people. By the end of 2009, the NTA had already issued licenses to 15 ISPs with the total bandwidth exceeding 10 Mbps. C urrently there are 47 ISPs, out of which five provide Internet service to the rural areas of Nepal (NTA, 2012a). In September 2010, the ITU website quoted the NTA which stated that the total number of registered Internet users in Nepal had grown 160 perce nt in a year (ITU, 2010). The NTA report indicated that there were 515,592 Internet users in the previous year, which increased to 1,359,805 that year (ITU, 2010). These stats have made
31 further subsequent quick progress in just three years down the road. A ccording to the latest NTA report published in mid 2013, the number of Internet users is up to 6,685,427, showing a penetration rate of 25.23%. According to the ITU (2013) report, 31% of the developing world population is currently online. The average Inte rnet penetration rate in Asia and the Pacific region in 2013 is 32% (ITU, 2013). In this regard, it can be said that Nepalese Internet progress took place aga inst the backdrop of an increasing Nepalese population that totaled 26,494,504 per the Nepalese census 2011 (National Population and Housing Census [NPHC], 2011; Sharma, 2011). Likewise, Table 2 1 shows that the mobile phone penetration rate reached 65.45% around mid highest contribution coming from mobile phone use of 68.45%. (NTA, 201 3a). A number of factors contributed to this progress. The Kathmandu Post (2013) reported that for a long time the government had planned to bring together new cell phone service providers under a license regime that was unified and that helped to create c ompetition among the service providers. Similarly, Koirala (2010) stated that the increase in the number of subscribers was the result of cheaper information technology and increasing competition among the service providers. Koirala (2010) quoted the spoke sperson of the NTA, Kailash Prashad Neupane, who stated that the mobile phone was also growing popular with the younger generation. Neupane further stressed Si milar, Table 2 1 also indicates significant growth in mobile data (GPRS, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution [EDGE], and 3G) along with the voice services, evolved in the
32 6,254,381 cell phone users with Internet service in mid May, 2013. The total number of cell phone users with Internet service was, 6,079,353 and 5,865,902 for the previous two months, around mid April and mid March respectively (NTA, 2013a; 2013b). The sam e figures for mid May 2012 and mid May 2011 were 4,530,415 and 2,587,705 respectively (NTA, 2012b and that provided the Internet for mobile phones in Nepal until la te 2012. The EDGE and 3G were introduced in the Nepalese cell phone market during September October, 2012 (NTA, 2012c). That could have caused the sudden increase in the users of mobile phones with the Internet service. Internet Communication in Democratic Engagement There are no definite answers, yet, to either support or deny whether Internet and improve the communication between the citizens and the states. So me predictions have spoken in support of a positive relationship between the Internet communication mode and the act of participation (Sunstein, 2001; Xenos and Moy, 2007). At the same time, some find it hard derive a relationship between the two. Over tim e, communication scholars have found that the use of the Internet and its features can be related to overall political engagement (Johnson and Kaye, 2003; Valenzuela, Park and Kee, 2009). In addition, they have also gone as far as to indicate that specific events such as the political or civic campaign's knowledge and participation increase as the result of Internet communication and its features, particularly Facebook, which 11). The Internet is the new public sphere allowing people to communicate regardless of age, class, race and gender by discarding the need for face to face interaction (Poster, 1997).
33 However, those who deny the relationship share similar beliefs as Punta m (2000), who felt that television was one of the causes of the decline of social capital. Scholars, such as Goldberg (2010) questioned the viability of the public/virtual sphere created by the Internet. Goldberg (2010, p. 739) suggests that online partici This study was conducted on the Nepalese undergradua te level students (NUGLS) to measure the political and civic participation of the students, and how their participation is affected by their use of Facebook and the Internet. The research may provide a new window to s study is also unique in the sense that it is the first study of its kind done in Nepal. Internet communication offers a wide range of features, and not all of them can be related to political and civic participation (David, 2013). The declining engagemen t of young people may need to be approached differently. Perhaps, the traditional approach in measuring the political and civic participation of the new digital population is the reason why there is a decline in engagement (Bennett, 2008). Or, is it that t he socio political environment of the place where this group of population belong and their access to the Internet there that influences the nature of their participation? The next section in this study provides different examples of how the Internet, espe different democratic and non democratic settings located in close proximity to Nepal. The following sections will also present an update on recent social media trends in t he region and in Nepal respectively.
34 Internet, Facebook and Their Effect on Youth Participation in South [East] Asian Regions It is a known fact that the new media (the Internet) is still in its infancy. It is even more so for a developing countries like N epal. As a result there are very few studies conducted regarding the uses of the Internet and its features of social media, such as Facebook, and the impact it can have on a certain group of population (like undergraduate students) in Nepal. Therefore, thi s section will share the common focus of the use of new media, including Facebook, by young adults in the context of political and civic participation in close proximity to South and Southeast Asia, with specific socio political structures. This is because the political systems found in this region have their own characteristics (Zhang & Lallana, 2013). It is much n different countries of the same region 2). Zhang and Lallana (2013) compared research from five countries (Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, the Philippians and Singapore). The culminated (undergraduate students) political and civic participation in Nepal to derive subsequent hypotheses and research questions. It is evident that different trends have been emerging across different Asian countries as a result of the mixture of new media, youth participation and differing political systems in the respective countries. Three trends that Zhang and Lallana (2013) observed in studying the various circumstances can be summarized as follows: The first trend indicated that it is important to understand the role of new media in terms of media that is already in existence, because the existing media determines the function of a new media. These functions can just be an alternative media or tool for civic action.
35 For example: In Malaysia and Singapore, the censored media environment helps its Meanwhile, where there is political freedom, in places such as India and the Philippines, new media are just additional tools for young participants to connect with the old media, the public and the government (Zhang and Lallana, 2013). A similar study by David (2013) mentioned that the dawn of new media technologies among you ng people (activists) have changed the manner of their political engagement. As a result there are fewer participants on the streets taking part in demonstrations. A web based political and civic engagement has gained popularity as a result of the increasi ng number of social media users, including Facebook, along with an increase in Internet access. The second trend that Zhang and Lallana (2013) mentioned is that party politics fails to include youth participation in some countries. Competitive political pa exclusion and discourages them from being involved in political participation. This is evident even in countries where there is political freedom such as India and the Philippines, violent political conditions such as Bangladesh, and in countries with authoritative rule such as Malaysia and Singapore. The establishment of politics free private educational institutions in Nepal seems like a similar act whereby the system encourages the exclu sion of youth participation. The third trend is something that is emerging as an aftermath of reduced party politics (Zhang and Lallana, 2013), whereby, the youth participants shift their attention towards by using Internet communication tools. This results in organized issue related activities that can be both local and global, instead of political party related. Such civic participants use new media to seek help and attention from the
36 international commu Popular Social M edia T rend s and Their C ontext in Nepal Lack of reliable sources make it hard to determine the exact number of Facebook use rs from Nepal living around the world and those users who live in Nepal. The website http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/1583 march 2013 social media r eport facebook pages in nepal however, indicates that there were over 1.9 million Nepalese Facebook users around the world by the end of March 2013. Meanwhile, the Website http://www. Inter net worldstats.com/asia.htm#np states that there were already 1,940, 820 registered Facebook users from Nepal at the end of 2012, suggesting a penetration rate of 6.5% amongst the total Nepalese population. The official Facebook website https://www.facebook.com/ads/create/?fbid=280145788790036&campaign_id=365730201698& placement=fbpg1&extra_1=not admgr user&ext ra_2=2612 clarifies that there are currently ( as of July, 2013), 980,000 Facebook users live in Nepal. Out of that number 540,000 are in the 18 25 years old age group, which is roughly the age group that is considered for this study. Looking back at the progress that Nepal has made in its Internet penetration rate, it is plausible to state that the country is not only moving toward an increase of Internet users, but also replicating the various global traits and trends that come along with it. As the coun try moves into the era of digital online communication, several features, including the social media Some of the recent events such as the Arab Spring (still cont online revolution is concerned The advent of an online platform in Nepal has managed to force a
37 conversations initiated in the social media (Sherchan, 2012). In his analysis of similar Internet pe digital development is still behind by a large margin when compared to many other countries. As a result, Nepalese people and other social institutions still cann ot fully taste the benefits of the rise of social media has been experienced in some of the developed countries like the United States. co nsumers continue to spend more time on social network s than on any other category of sites roughly 20 percent of their total time online via personal computer (PC), and 30 percent of total time online time via mobile phones. Additionally, total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PCs and mobile de vices increased 37 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012, compared to 88 billion in July 2011 ( Nielsen, 2012). Meanwhile, according to the Nepal population and the housing census of 2011 published by NPHC (2012) 1,669,765 of the total population had completed at least high school or higher. A total of 1,036,448 (over 62%) of this educated group were enrolled or eligible to enroll in college politics, claims a r elationship between the use of the Internet and social media and Zhang and Lall it can be assumed that the NUGLS in public undergraduate colleges and universities are generally civically and politically active. It may also be possible that political an d civic
38 participation of students of both public and private undergraduate students are related to their use of the Internet and social media (Facebook). It is also an encouraging sign to see some of the statistics mentioned above from ITU (2012), the web site http://www. Internetworldstats .com/ (2012), and NTA (2012). These numbers can easily be backed up by some of the recent incidents that occurred solely because of easier access to the Internet in Nepal Some of them are as follows. Occupy Baluwatar: A campaign that has lasted over 100 days since December 28, 2012, Occupy Baluwatar is a peaceful protest that addresses the problem of gender based violence. official residence in Baluwatar, Kathmandu. The campaign was ignited by young activists who launched the public campaign, Occupy Baluwatar demanding justice for Sita Rai (name changed) (The Kathmandu Post [TKP], 2012). Rai, 21, was a migrant worker who wa s robbed by immigration officials and allegedly raped while returning home from Saudi Arabia (TKP, 2012). The Kathmandu Post also reported that the campaign used social networking sites, including Facebook. Later the movement received wide public attention from various groups and went viral in social media, both nationally and internationally. This encouraged even more participation of the general public (Bajracharya, 2013; Adhikari, 2013). Nepal Unites: Another such example of online participation for civ ic causes is the online forum called Nepal Unites. Since its inception, this online forum has pioneered and initiated hoc gover nment has repeatedly failed to provide a remodeled constitution since the termination of the monarchy in 2008. Another similar campaign
39 protest by political activ ists to call for a general strike), which aimed to stop constitutional assembly lawmakers from traveling abroad. Like several other recent Occupy movements, this Nepali online movement has received a lot of support and appreciation from Nepalese, both thos http://nepalunites.org/ ) have been formed overseas, i.e., Nepal Unites UK and Nepal Unites Australia. The popular social media site Facebook played a huge role in both of these cases. Studies have suggested that social networking sites, like Facebook, increase political and civic participation ( Gil de Ziga, H., Jung, and Valenzuela, 2012; Valenzuela, Park and Kee, 2009), which is important for a dem ocratic society. Occupy Baluwatar and Nepal Unites movements are still active in Facebook to mobilize page subscribers and seek participation. However, at the same time, there are various generic purposes for which people use social media. Therefore, the f ollowing research questions can be posed to measure the usage pattern of the Internet, Facebook, mobile devices (with or without the Internet), and the impact of the Internet and RQ1 : What are the usage patterns of Facebook by Nepalese undergraduate students? RQ2: What is the difference in the level of access between the students enrolled in the public and private schools for Facebook and the Internet via different kinds of devices? RQ3: Ho w does the use of information on the Internet and Facebook regarding political and civic events influence the Nepalese student in their political and civic participation? Use of Internet and Social Media by Nepali Media and Journalists Nepal was one of the first countries in South Asia that saw the development of online journalism. The Kathmandu Post (TKP) a daily English newspaper affiliated with Kantipur Publications, provided its first online news portal through the University of Illinois website in Sep tember 1995 (Sedhai, 2012). This made TKP the first newspaper in South Asia to make its online presence felt, in a joint effort by Mercantile Communication, the Kantipur Publications
40 and Rajendra Shrestha, an engineering student at the University of Illino is (Sedhai, 2012). In April 2000, the publication launched a full fledged website with the domain name kantipuronline.com Today, almost every major daily newspaper in Nepal has its own online version to serve the interest of its ever growing online reader ship, both nationally and internationally. The large number of online readers includes not only those who are educated and have access to the Internet, but also the Nepalese migrant citizens (Mahato, 2012). Mahato further states that the Nepalese online c old media. The number of people who have Internet access and use social media (Facebook) is greater than the combined readership of all major newspapers put together (Mahato, 2012). Today, the N epalese media and its professionals have moved a step ahead when it comes to their online presence. Many Nepalese journalists today have not only increased their social media presence but also developed their regular online portals such as blogs. This is a new phenomenon in Nepalese journalism. One of the few research studies done on the use of social media by the Nepali journalists was published by the Center of Media Research Nepal According to this report, social media is on the verge of becoming a forc e in Nepali journalism that cannot be neglected (Acharya et al., 2012). There are many reasons why media houses and journalists use social media. Apart from their personal uses, journalists in Nepal use social media to promote their published work; they al (Acharya et al., 2012, p. 23). Findings from another survey conducted by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) (2012) mentioned that as many as 86.5% of the journalists use social media. For many journalists it is a source of information. FNJ (2012) also suggested that social
41 media sites like Facebook were more helpful and increased the productivity of Nepalese journalists, who spend 4.32 hours on avera ge on the Internet every day (FNJ, 2012). Republica (2012) reported that the use of social media by the majority of Nepali journalists has helped them increase their reach to a larger audience and enhanced their professional output. For many, social media is the best way to reach out to their readers and colleagues. Based on the aforementioned findings related to the increase of the Internet and Facebook users among journalists and citizens, the increase in online media options, the increase of online liter acy in Nepal, and the change in the political climate of the education system, the following research questions can be posed: RQ4: Is reading, listening or watching news on the Internet correlated with the Nepalese d to political and civic participations on Facebook? News consumption, either online or offline, has a strong relationship with both civic and political participation (Bachmann, Kaufhold, Lewis & de Ziga, 2010) Because news consumption, online or offli ne, is one of the indicators of civic and political participation, the level of news consumption by Nepalese undergraduate students in the public and private schools ces in the level of use of the Internet and Facebook for news consumption, and the political and civic participation among the N epalese undergraduate level students enrolled in the public and private schools will measure the current status on an existing g ap in the online political and civic participation between the two groups of students. Use of the Internet and Facebook by Nepalese students is one of the factors that affects the political and civic participation of this group of population living in thi s new era of the digital age, which according to Mahato (2012) is a new form of a virtual public sphere for this age group. However, it has to be considered that there are many social and economic class factors
42 participation. They include such items as mobilization, social contacts, religious activities, newspaper readership, personal resources, income, education, civic values, personal efficacy, government responsiveness, and socialization (Uslaner, n.d. ).
43 Tab le 2 1. NTA Annual Reports 2011 2013 Year Period Total Mobile Phone Users Mobile with Internet Total Internet Users Penetration Rate % Total Users Service Mobile Internet 2013 Mid May 18,137,771 6,254,381 GPRS, EDGE, 3G 6,685,427 68.45 25.23 Mi d April 17,743,246 6,079,353 GPRS, EDGE, 3G 6,494,007 66.96 24.51 Mid March 17,395,182 5,865,902 GPRS, EDGE, 3G 6,279,129 65.65 23.69 2012 Mid September 15,810,621 4,816,688 GPRS, EDGE, 3G 5,192,945 59.67 19.60 Mid May 14,750,173 4,530,415 GPRS 4,867, 254 55.40 18.28 2011 Mid May 1,09,50,420 2,587,705 GPRS 2,865,986 38.31 10.03 Source: Nepal Telecommunication Association (NTA)
44 CHAPTER 3 METHOD Originally, data were collected via a survey questionnaire based on the research questions mentioned abo ve. The survey was administered for two months, during the month of July through early September, 2013.The student participants included only those who were enrolled in six undergraduate level colleges that were considered for this study. All of the six co lleges are located in the Kathmandu Valley affiliated to two different universities. Out of the six, three are the public undergraduate level colleges, whereas the remaining three include private undergraduate level colleges. The three public undergraduate level schools are Institute of Engineering (IoE), Shankar Dev Campus (SDC) and Tri Chandra Campus (TCC), all of which are affiliated to the Tribuwan University (TU). Likewise, Xavier International College (XIC), DAV College of Management (DAV CoM) and Sch ool of Environmental Science and Management (SchEMs) are three private undergraduate level campuses included in this study. The first two private colleges are affiliated with TU and later one is affiliated to Pokhara University (PU). Later, it was not poss ible to collect data from the students in their third year (junior level) and fourth year (senior level) enrolled in SDC and XIC due to their unavailability. Therefore, the data provided by first year (freshman level) and second year (sophomore level) stud ent enrollees from SDC and XIC were not included in the actual study to avoid biased result. The survey questionnaire was originally in English and later translated into Nepali, the national language of Nepal and circulated among the Nepalese students at UF and the University of South Florida (USF) as a demo survey to check the clarity of the questionnaire content. The demo survey also demonstrated that the average time required to complete the survey was 20 30 minutes (less than half an hour). The survey questionnaire was approved by the institutional review board (IRB) at the University of Florida (UF). To ensure that the translation was properly
45 done, a back translation of the survey (Nepali copy), Nepali to English, was also done by a third party to mat ch the back translated copy to the original survey (in English) that was translated into Nepali. A paper based survey was preferred to an online survey, since there was a high chance of unreliable Internet and computer accessibility for the student partic ipants at the colleges. Also, regular power outages are another factor that can be a barrier to an online survey method in Nepal. Facilitators associated with a youth run Non governmental organization (NGO), Integrated Effort for Development Nepal were app ointed to conduct the survey. The facilitators have completed at least an undergraduate degree or higher. They were trained online addressing each of the 37 questions included in the survey. The trainers were first asked to read and participate in the surv ey to come up with queries related to the survey. The trainers were given two days of training, two hours per day. The trainers were also informed about the sampling method that was used for this study. Stratified sampling, a second factor in sampling theo ry was used for this study. The student participants were selected randomly in each of the undergraduate level colleges mentioned above instead of selecting a student participation from the total student population available at large (Babbie, 2010) in educ ational institutions mentioned above that are located in the Kathmandu Valley. A total of 275 survey questionnaire were collected from each colleges and campuses. An attempt was made so there are equal participants of first year (freshman), second year (so degree plan, their samples were considered as freshman, sophomore and junior categories to tudy. Despite being
46 exceptional, undergraduate colleges with three years degree programs were included in this study programs in most of the undergraduate colleges, as degree prog ram that cannot be left out in this study. provided by the students in this survey. There were no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to the particip ants. The students were informed that they were free to withdraw their consent to participate and could discontinue their participation in the survey at any time without any consequence. The survey gathered information of following categories from each of the student participants: General Information The first five questions (1 8) in the first section of the questionnaire collected the general information from the student participant. The information will include their gender, level (year) of school, age, w hether they grew up in or outside the Kathmandu Valley, names of the addresses, which was optional. They general information questions are as follows: Personal Value s Four questions were asked to measure the personal values of the students, particularly overall politics and civic participation. The first two questions (9 and 10) measured their opinion on overall student political and civic participation. The latter tw o questions (11 and 12) asked
47 questions in this section were as follows: For personal value questions, all the participants were asked to choose from these options: (a) extremely interested, (b) very interested, (c) somewhat interested, (d) a little interested, and (5) not at all interested for all. (Appendix A.) Political Participation o measured. Political participation was measured through a series of yes/no questions (10 14). The first four elections, affiliation with any political organizati on on or off campus, previous participation in campus/university level elections, and their willingness to vote (if they have never voted in any kind of elections earlier). It was possible that a student had never voted either due to the political instabil ity of the country, or it being their first year of enrollment on campus, or that no election took place since the student turned 18 years old, which is the legal voting age in Nepal. The first four questions were as follows: The next question (17) (a g) i ncluded a series of yes/no sub questions that measure political activities. (Appendix A.) Civic Participation and off campus civic participation was measured through another set of yes/no questions (18) (a h) that measure their civic participation activities within the last 12 months. This measured 8 types of political activities. (Appendix A.)
48 Online Civic and Political Participation The impact of the Internet on student participation has already been discussed above (particularly during the two Occupy Baluwatar and Nepal Unite programs). News reports and postings form Bajracharya (2013) and Adikari (2012) and many other news portals and social med ia group activity indicate that the increase in the participation of such movement was mainly due to the uses of the Internet, possibly in different devices, including computers and cell itical participation. Question (17) (h) and (18) (i) were asked to measure their online civic and political participation These yes/no questions asked if any of the political and civic activities in questions (17) (a g) and (18) (a h) that they have done were performed online, using the Internet. The questions listed are 17. (h) and 18. (i). (Appendix A.) Media/News Consumption Habit and the Internet/Facebook Use A set of 19 different questions (19 37) were asked to find out their media/news consumption ha bits and Internet/Facebook use The first three questions asked how often do the student participant read news, watch televised news programs, and read/watch news online. news (information), where the participants chose only one option, either two form the list, or all three to form a combination (explained in the Result section below). (Appendix A.) in t heir civic and This began by asking the students to list the top five social networking and/or micro blogging sites that they use most. This helped us to f ind out if Facebook is their top five priorities. (Appendix A.)
49 This was followed by a yes/no question (24), asking the students if they have an active Facebook account. This is to keep in mind that if Facebook is one of the top five social networking site subsequent open ended question and carried on the survey from question (26) onw ards that asked students to explain what prompted them to create a Facebook account. However, if the to them, asking them if they deactivated their Facebook a following question (25) and its subsequent question will be the question s/he will respond to. (Appendix A.) As mentioned above, the f ollowing questions (26 37) did not apply to those who present the reason for creating a Facebook account. An open ended question was used here; questions (27 28) respectively. (Appendix A.) for question (29), a follow up question was asked about the frequency of getting on their Face book account. This will be an open ended question no. 29. Average time spent by the participating students on the Facebook Internet connection, two questions (31 32) w ere asked about the kind of device that the students had been using recently to get on to their Facebook account. The question (31) allowed student
50 participants to choose from more than one option, but the next question (32) asked which device they use mos t to get on Facebook from the same options as shown in (Appendix A.) The following questions (33), (34), (35), and (37) measured the kinds of social, political, and civic activities that students do on Facebook and how often did they do it like question ( 33) (36), the students need to rank their activities 1 through 6, wit
51 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS are less politically and civically active than s tudents in the upper levels of schooling in public students were observed for Hypothesis 1. The remaining 153 students attended private schools (Table 4 1). O ut of the total of 116 students from the public schools, 53 students were in the lower level, whereas 63 students were in the upper level of their respective undergraduate school programs (Table 4 1). The mean score showed the prevalence of political parti cipation by students in the lower level in the public schools was M = 5.0566. On the other hand, the mean score by students in the upper level in the public schools was M = 3.7937 (Table 4 2). The difference in the mean scores indicates that the level of p olitical participation for students in the lower level was higher than those in the upper level. Likewise, the mean score also showed the prevalence of civic participation by students in the lower level in the public institutions was M = 4.4717. The mean s core by students in the upper level in the public schools was M = 4.7302 (Table 4 2). The difference in the mean scores indicates that the level of civic participation shown by the students in the lower level was less than those students who attended the u pper level of public undergraduate institutions. In Table 4 2, the mean scores for political participation and civic participation suggested that the level of political participation for students enrolled in the lower level of the public undergraduate inst itutions was higher than the students in the upper level of public undergraduate institutions. However, the civic participation of students enrolled in lower levels
52 of the public undergraduate institutions was lower than the students enrolled in the upper level of public undergraduate institutions. Meanwhile, a one way MANOVA shown in Table 4 3 reveals a significant multivariate main effect for levels (upper vs. lower), F (2, 264.00) = 5.602, p = 0.004. This indicated that there is a significant multivaria te main effect for the levels of education. Thus, the level of undergraduate students overall. Another one way MANOVA shown in Table 4 3 reveals a significan t multivariate main effect for types of educational institutions (public vs. private), F (2, 264.00) = 54.548, p < 0.001. This indicated that there is a significant multivariate main effect for types of educational institutions. Thus, the level of students institution has a significant impact on the political and civic participation of Nepalese undergraduate students overall. Next, one way MANOVA shown in Table 4 3 reveals a significant multivariate main ef fect for levels (upper vs. lower) in combine with types of educational institutions, F (2, 264.00) = 3.436, p = 0.034. This indicated that there is a significant multivariate main effect for the levels of education together with the types of educational in stitution a students is enrolled in for their political and civic participation overall. Hypothesis 1 is partially supported. Students in upper level scored higher on civic participation. However, the mean difference for the political participation of stu dents in upper level was lower than in lower level in public and private institutions, the opposite of the prediction in Hypothesis 1. in private educational institu tions demonstrate lower levels of civic and political activity than
53 samples t test shown in Table 4 5 was conducted to compare political and civic participation of the un dergraduate students enrolled in public undergraduate institutions and private undergraduate institutions. There is a significant difference between the score for political participation of the undergraduate students enrolled in public institutions with t he mean score (M=4.3761, SD=2.62523) and those of the undergraduate students enrolled in private institutions with the mean score (M=1.8031, SD=1.93238) with conditions displayed in Table 4 4; t(268)=9.179, p < 0.001. Also, there was a significant differen ce in the score for civic participation of undergraduate students enrolled in public institutions (M=4.6496, SD=2.40802) and undergraduate students enrolled in private institutions (M=2.4379, SD=1.89470) with conditions displayed in Table 4 3; t(268)=8.446 p = 0.027. In Table (4 4), the mean scores for political participation and civic participation by the Nepalese students who were enrolled in public or private undergraduate institutions show that students in the public schools scored higher on both polit ical participation and civic participation. Specifically, these results indicate that Nepalese students enrolled in public undergraduate institutions show greater political and civic participations. Thus, Hypothesis 2 is supported. Next, research Question of variables from Question 24 through 30 in the survey questionnaire were considered. Table 4 6 summar izes the results for the usage patterns of Facebook by Nepalese undergraduate students. Out of 275 (N) undergraduate student participants, 259 (94.2%) participants were active Facebook users, and only 11 (4%) of the total student participants had
54 deactivat ed their Facebook accounts, 1 student participant (.4%) was not using Facebook, but did not deactivated it, and 4 (1.5) never had a Facebook account. Some of the common reasons for de activating Facebook include disinterest, finding it useless or disliking it, or never creating an account before. A few also had no proper reason for not having a Facebook account. Table 4 7 shows that among the 226 (N, 82.2%) who responded to Question 26, which was an open ended question, 153 (55.6%), answered that they crea ted a Facebook account to communicate with either friends, family, or both. Only 22 (8.0%) student respondents said that it eanwhile, 17 (6.2%) of the student participants felt they had to have a Facebook account to keep up with modern trends. However, only 4 (1.5%) participants mentioned that they use Facebook for news and entertainment, whereas 14 (5.1%) of the Nepalese under graduate students use Facebook for personal interests. Table 4 8 also summarizes that 274 (N, 99.6%) responded to Question 27 that asked the student participants, "How long have you been using Facebook?" Interestingly, 159 (57.8%) student respondents have among Nepalese undergraduate students who responded to question 27 have been using Facebook for "1 to 2 years" and "less than a year," respectively. Table 4 9 explains that only 24 (8.7%), 2 (0.7%), and 10 (3.6%) of the student participants responded that they use Facebook once every week, once a month and rarely. Out of 274 (N, 99.6%) respondents to Question 28, "How often do you use Facebook account" 129 (46.9%) use Facebook at least on a "daily" basis, and 93 (33.8%) used Facebook "multiple times
55 Finally, Table 4 10 reveals an average number/s of the hour/s per day each of the undergradu ate student participants spent on Facebook as per Question 30. From a total of 272 10). Likewise, 87 (31%) of the student participa nts used Facebook only 8 (2.9%) of the student participants use different kinds of devices used between students enrolled in the public and private undergraduate different devices such as personal computer (PC) and laptops, cell phones and other mobile devices such as tablets, iPads etc., by th e undergraduate students enrolled in private and public undergraduate programs. Table 4 11 shows that 69.4% of students in public institutions and 68% of students in private undergraduate institutions use PCs or laptops to access Facebook and the Internet, while 24.8% of the student from the public institutions and 26.1% students of private students do not use PCs and laptops to access both Facebook and the Internet. A chi square test explained in Table 4 12 that shows no significant relationship between st udents enrolled in public and private undergraduate level institutions and their access to Facebook via PCs and laptops, 2 (2, N = 274) = .070, p = 0.966. Similarly, Table 4 13 also revealed that 61.2% and 56.9% of total student participants in public and private undergraduate institutions use cell phones to access Facebook and the Internet,
56 while 33.1% of the students from the public institutions and 37.3% students of private institutions do not use cell phones to access both Facebook and the Internet. A chi square test from Table 4 14 indicates that there is no significant relationship that can be determined between students enrolled in public and private undergraduate level institutions and their access to Facebook using a cell phone, 2 (2, N = 274) = .549, p = 0.760. Table 4 15 also revealed that 76.5% and 79.3% of total student participants in public and private undergraduate institutions, respectively, use all three types of devices to access Facebook and the Internet, while 17.6% o f the students from the public institutions and 14.9% students of private institutions do not use all types of devices. Another chi square test in Table 4 16 shows no significant relationship between students enrolled in public and private undergraduate le vel institutions and their access to Facebook using all of the devices, 2 (2, N = 274) = .388, p = 0.823. Finally, Table 4 17 reveals an outcome for all four categories from the above tests by showing the relationship between the students enrolled in public and private undergraduate institutions and the device/s that were use d by each to access Facebook and the Internet. In total, 47.1% of student participants use d PCs and laptops most of the time rather than other devices to access Facebook and the Internet in public undergraduate institutions. At the same time, 45.1% of the students in private institutions use d PCs and laptops most of the time rather than other devices to access Facebook and the Internet. In the private institutions 42.5% of the students use d cell phones most to access Facebook and the Internet, whereas it w as 42% for students in public schools. A total 2.5% of student participants use d other mobile devices of the students enrolled in public institutions and 2% of them in the private institutions. Students enrolled in public institutions who use d all three t ypes of devices (PCs and laptops, cell phones, other
57 mobile devices) totaled 4.6% compared to 2.5% in the private institutions. When a chi square test in Table 4 18 was performed, there was no significant relationship found between students enrolled in pub lic and private undergraduate level institutions and the category of device/s they used mostly to get access to Facebook 2 (4, N = 272) = .923, p = 0.921. Facebook regarding political and civic events influence the Nepalese student in their political effect of the use of information on the Internet via Facebook regarding politic al and public events influencing Nepalese undergraduate students in their political and civic participations. Different tests varied based on kinds of variables considered for the respective tests. ps between political and civic participations and number of days in a typical week the participants read, listen to, or watch news online. There was a positive correlation between political participation of the Nepalese undergraduate student and the number of days in a typical week they read, listen to or watch news content online, r = .316, n = 270, p < .001, with M=2.9333 and SD=2.258448 shown in Table 4 20. Table 4 20 also shows that a positive correlation was found between the civic participation of Nep alese undergraduate students and the number of days in a typical week they read, listen to or watch news content online (r = .334, n = 270, p < .001, with M=3.3963 and SD=2.39469). The mean and standard diviation are shown in Table 4 19. In general, there was a participation and frequency of days they spent online news reading, listening to, or watching news content.
58 Additionally, the following one way ANOVA test for st atistically significant differences methods of receiving most of the current affiars news by the Nepalese undergraduate students. The methods included of a) print news (newspaper and magazines); b) broadcast (television and radio); c) online (news portals, social media); d) print and broadcast; e) print and online; f) broadcast and online and g) print, broadcasting and online. Table 4 22 suggests that the politica l participation of the Nepalese undergraduate students is statistically significant across the seven different sources of most news mentioned above, F (6, 263) = 5.738, p < .001, with M= 2.9333 and total SD= 2.58448 Likewise, the civic participation of th e Nepalese undergraduate students is also statistically significant across the same six different news sources mentioned above, F (6, 263) = 2.541, p = 0.021 with total M= 3.3963 and total SD= 2.39469 shown in Table 4 22. Similarly, the following six one w ay ANOVA tests also tested for statistically significant consisting of Facebook group member of: a) college; b) college student organization; c) university group page; d) political group page; e) news portal; and f) social/civic organization group page; and those who are not. College: Table 4 24 suggests that the political participation of the Nepalese undergraduate students is not statistically significant across those who are members of their F (1, 267) = 2.889, p = .090, with total M= 2.9405 and SD= 2.58660 shown in Table 4 23. But, the civic participation of the Nepalese undergraduate students statis tically significant across the students those who are
59 F (1, 267) = 7.019, p = .009, with total M= 3.3866 and SD= 2.39386 shown in Table 4 23. College student organization: Next, Table 4 participation and civic participation their preferences to become members of any college student s between those who are member s of a college student organization on Facebook and those who are not. The statistical significance of political participation and civic participation were F (1, 267) = 27.995, p < .001, with total M= 2.9405 and SD= 2.58660 shown in Table 4 25 and F (1, 26 7) = 26.617, p < .001, with total M= 3.3866 and total SD= 2.39386 shown in Table 4 25. University group page: Next, Table 4 participation and civic participation their preferences to become members of their respecti ve are member of the university Facebook group and those who are not. The statistical significance of political participation and civic participation were F (1, 267) = 19.690, p < .001, with total M= 2.9405 and total SD= 2.58660 shown in Table 4 27; and F (1, 267) = 14.775, p < .001, with total M= 3.3866 and total SD= 2.39386 shown in Table 4 27, respectively. Political group page: Next, table 4 itical participation and civic participation suggests that the preferences to become a member of a Facebook political group page/s by the students showed statistically significant difference across those who are member a facebook political groups page/s an d those who are not. The statistical significance of political participation and civic participation were F (1, 267) = 117.421, p < .001, with total M= 2.9405 and total SD= 2.58660 shown in Table 4 29; and F (1, 267) = 214.3, p < .001, with total M= 3.3866 an d total SD= 2.39386 shown in Table 4 29, respectively.
60 News portal: Similarly, another ANOVA test shown in table 4 participation and civic participation suggests that becoming a member of a Facebook news portal page/s by the stude nts also showed statistically significant difference between those who are member of a Facebook news portal page/s and those who are not. The statistical significance of political participation and civic participation were F (1, 267) = 28.528, p < .001, wi th total M= 2.9405 and total SD= 2.58660 shown in Table 4 31; and F (1, 267) = 28.051, p < .001, with total M= 3.3866 and total SD= 2.39386 shown in Table 4 31, respectively. Social/civic organization group page: Similarly, another ANOVA test in table 4 34 for member of Facebook pages (group) belonging to a social/civic organization of the students showed statistically significant difference result for those who follow and do not follow a social/civic organization on Facebook The statistical significance of political participation and civic participation were F (1, 267) = 18.216, p < .001, with total M= 2.9405 and total SD= 2.58660 shown in Table 4 33; and F (1, 267) = 31.029, p < .001, with total M= 3.3866 and total SD= 2.39386 shown in Table 4 33, respectively. al and civic participations 35 was computed to find out if there is correlations between habit of dissemination of news content from online sources by the Nepalese undergraduate students and their certain Faceboo member or following certain news portals on Facebook, and using Facebook features (such as Comment, Tag, Like, or Share) on the posts or pages belonging to News Portals, political activities, and social activity.
61 T able 4 35 shows a positive correlation between the variables act of reading, listen or watching news content online and becoming a member or following certain news portal(s) Facebook page r = .438, n = 274, p < .001. Overall, there was a positive correlati on between disseminating news content from online sources by the students and becoming a group member or following certain news portal(s) Facebook page. Increase in disseminating news from online sources was positively correlated with increase in becoming a member or following Facebook page(s) belonging to certain news portal(s) and commenting, tagging, liking or s haring the content. Table 4 35, however, on the other hand, also indicates that there were negative correlations between the variables of reading listening or watching news content from online sources and those who commented, tagged, liked or shared a) political activity, and b) social activities, showing a) r = 194; n = 124, p = .031; b) r = 287 and b) n = 154, p < .001 respectively. Therefor e, there were negative correlation between disseminating news content from online sources by the students and their activities on Facebook (commenting, tagging, liking or sharing) on posts/pages belonging to political activities, and social activities. Thi s infers that that increase in the dissemination of news from online sources is correlated will decrease in activities on Facebook (such as commenting, tagging, liking or sharing) on the posts/pages belonging to political ac tivities, and social activities
62 Table 4 1. Total Student Participation (N) Between Public vs. Private Institutions and Upper vs. Lower Undergraduate Level Value Label N Lower vs. Upper 1 Lower 125 2 Upper 144 Private vs. Public 1 Public Institute 116 2 Private Institute 153 Table 4 2. Descriptive Statistics for Political Participation and Civic Participation of Lower and Upper Undergraduate Level in Public Institute vs. Private Institutes Lower vs. Upper Private vs. Public Mean Std. Deviation N Political Participation Lowe r Public Institute 5.0566 2.76249 53 Private Institute 2.0833 2.12795 72 Total 3.3440 2.82302 125 Upper Public Institute 3.7937 2.39730 63 Private Institute 1.6049 1.72249 81 Total 2.5625 2.31057 144 Total Public Institute 4.3707 2.63597 11 6 Private Institute 1.8301 1.93238 153 Total 2.9257 2.58621 269 Civic Participation Lower Public Institute 4.4717 2.37458 53 Private Institute 2.6806 2.08837 72 Total 3.4400 2.37731 125 Upper Public Institute 4.7302 2.40434 63 Private Ins titute 2.2222 1.68819 81 Total 3.3194 2.37897 144 Total Public Institute 4.6121 2.38390 116 Private Institute 2.4379 1.89470 153 Total 3.3755 2.37452 269 Table 4 3. Multivariate Tests for Lower vs. Upper; Public vs. Private; and Lower vs. Upp er* Public vs. Private F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. Upper vs. Lower 5.602 b 2.000 264.000 .004 Private vs. Public 54.548 b 2.000 264.000 < .001 Lower vs. Upper Private vs. Public 3.436 b 2.000 264.000 .034
63 Table 4 4. Group Statistics Betwee n Political and Civic Participation for Public and Private Institutes Private vs. Public N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean Political Participation Public Institute 117 4.3761 2.62523 .24270 Private Institute 153 1.8301 1.93238 .15622 Civic Partici pation Public Institute 117 4.6496 2.40802 .22262 Private Institute 153 2.4379 1.89470 .15318 Table 4 5. t test Results Comparing Political and Civic Participation of students in Public and Private Institutes Levene's Test for Equality of Variances t test for Equality of Means F Sig. t df Sig. (2 tailed) Political Participatio n Equal variances assumed 15.487 < .001 9.179 268 < .001 Equal variances not assumed 8.821 205.160 < .001 Civic Participatio n Equal variances assumed 4.947 .027 8.446 268 < .001 Equal variances not assumed 8.184 215.050 < .001 Table 4 6. Frequency for Active and Non Active Facebook Users Frequency Percent Valid Active FB user 259 94.2 Deactivated FB 11 4.0 Didn't deactivated FB 1 .4 Never had a FB account 4 1.5 Total 275 100.0
64 Table 4 7. Frequency for Reason for Creating Facebook Account Frequency Percent Valid Friends and Family Circle 153 55.6 FB social networking features 22 8.0 New trend 17 6.2 Personal interest 14 5.1 News/Entertainmen t 4 1.5 Deactivated/No FB account 16 5.8 Total 226 82.2 Missing No Response 49 17.8 Total 275 100.0 Table 4 8. Frequency for Length of Time Using Facebook Frequency Percent Valid Less than 1 year 5 1.8 1 to 2 years 26 9.5 2 to 3 years 68 24 .7 3 years or more 159 57.8 Deactivated/No FB account 16 5.8 Total 274 99.6 Missing No Response 1 .4 Total 275 100.0 Table 4 Facebook Frequency Percent Valid Multiple time a day 93 33.8 Daily 129 46. 9 Weekly 24 8.7 Monthly 2 .7 Rarely 10 3.6 Deactivated/No FB account 16 5.8 Total 274 99.6 Missing No Response 1 .4 Total 275 100.0
65 Table 4 10. Frequency for Hours/Day Facebook Use Frequency Percent Valid Less than 1 hour 77 28.0 1 2 h ours 87 31.6 2 3 hours 47 17.1 3 4 hours 23 8.4 4 5 hours 14 5.1 More than 5 hours 8 2.9 Deactivated/No FB account 16 5.8 Total 272 98.9 Missing No Response 3 1.1 Total 275 100.0 Table 4 11. Crosstab Between User and Non Users of PCs and L aptops to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes Private vs. Public Total Public Institute Private Institute FB Device/s PCs Com/Laptop Don't use PCs Computer/Laptop Count 30 40 70 % within Private vs. Public 24.8% 26.1% 25.5% Use PCs C omputer/Laptop Count 84 104 188 % within Private vs. Public 69.4% 68.0% 68.6% Deactivated/No FB account Count 7 9 16 % within Private vs. Public 5.8% 5.9% 5.8% Total Count 121 153 274 % within Private vs. Public 100.0% 100.0% 100.0 %
66 Table 4 12. Chi Square Tests for User and Non Users of PCs and Laptops to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes Value df Asymp. Sig. (2 sided) Pearson Chi Square .070 a 2 .966 Likelihood Ratio .070 2 .966 Linear by Linear Association .002 1 .967 N of Valid Cases 274 a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 7.07. Table 4 13. Crosstab Between U ser and Non Users of Cell Phones to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes Private vs. Public Total Pu blic Institute Private Institute FB Device/s Phones Don't use phone Count 40 57 97 % within Private vs. Public 33.1% 37.3% 35.4% Use phone Count 74 87 161 % within Private vs. Public 61.2% 56.9% 58.8% Deactivated/No FB account Count 7 9 16 % within Private vs. Public 5.8% 5.9% 5.8% Total Count 121 153 274 % within Private vs. Public 100.0% 100.0% 100.0 % Table 4 14. Chi Square Tests for U ser and Non Users of Cell Phones to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes Value df A symp. Sig. (2 sided) Pearson Chi Square .549 a 2 .760 Likelihood Ratio .551 2 .759 Linear by Linear Association .036 1 .850 N of Valid Cases 274 a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 7.07.
67 Table 4 15. Cr osstab Between U ser and Non Users of All Devices to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes Private vs. Public Total Public Institute Private Institute FB Device/s All of them Don't use PCs/Laptops/Phones/Other devices Count 96 117 213 % w ithin Private vs. Public 79.3% 76.5% 77.7 % Use PCs/Laptops/Phones/Other devices Count 18 27 45 % within Private vs. Public 14.9% 17.6% 16.4 % Deactivated/No FB account Count 7 9 16 % within Private vs. Public 5.8% 5.9% 5.8% Total Count 121 153 27 4 % within Private vs. Public 100.0% 100.0% 100.0 % Table 4 16. Chi Square Tests for U ser and Non Users of Other Mobile Devices to Access Facebook in Private and Public Institutes Value df Asymp. Sig. (2 sided) Pearson Chi Square .388 a 2 .823 Likeli hood Ratio .391 2 .822 Linear by Linear Association .030 1 .863 N of Valid Cases 274 a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 7.07.
68 Table 4 17. Crosstab Between Device Most Use to Access Facebook by Private and Public Institutes Students Private vs. Public Total Public Institute Private Institute Device most used Use PC Computer/Laptop Count 56 69 125 % within Private vs. Public 47.1% 45.1% 46.0 % Use phone Count 50 65 115 % within Private vs. Pub lic 42.0% 42.5% 42.3 % Use other mobile devices Count 3 3 6 % within Private vs. Public 2.5% 2.0% 2.2% Use PC Computer/Laptops/Phones/Other mobile devices Count 3 7 10 % within Private vs. Public 2.5% 4.6% 3.7% Deactivated/No FB account Count 7 9 16 % within Private vs. Public 5.9% 5.9% 5.9% Total Count 119 153 272 % within Private vs. Public 100.0% 100.0% 100.0 % Table 4 18. Chi Square Tests for Device Most Use to Access Facebook by Private and Public Institutes Students Value df Asymp Sig. (2 sided) Pearson Chi Square .923 a 4 .921 Likelihood Ratio .952 4 .917 Linear by Linear Association .097 1 .756 N of Valid Cases 272 a. 3 cells (30.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is 2.63.
69 Table 4 19. Des Week, Political Participation and Civic Participation Mean Std. Deviation N Political Participation 2.9333 2.58448 270 Civic Participation 3.3963 2.39469 270 Read/listen/watch news online day(s)/week 3.47 2.775 275 Table 4 20. and Student Political and Civic Participation Political Participation Civic Participation Read/listen/ watch news online da y(s)/wee k Political Participation Pearson Correlation 1 .549 ** .316 ** Sig. (2 tailed) < .001 < .001 N 270 269 270 Civic Participation Pearson Correlation .549 ** 1 .334 ** Sig. (2 tailed) < .001 < .001 N 269 270 270 Read/listen/watch news online day(s)/week Pearson Correlation .316 ** .334 ** 1 Sig. (2 tailed) < .001 < .001 N 270 270 275 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed).
70 Table 4 21. Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and News Source N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Printed (Newspaper/Magazines) 53 3.7736 2.75012 Broadcast (Television/Radio) 82 2.2073 2.00455 Online (News portals, social media) 89 2.6067 2.29930 Print and Broadcast 13 4.2308 3.98233 Print and Online 6 3.6667 2.94392 Broadcast and Online 9 1.4444 1.50923 Print, Online and Broadcasting 18 4.9444 2.99946 Total 270 2.9333 2.58448 Civic Participation Printed (Newspaper/Magazines) 53 3.5283 2.36646 Broadcast (Television/Radio) 83 2.8313 2.2 6758 Online (News portals, social media) 89 3.5169 2.45927 Print and Broadcast 12 3.8333 2.62274 Print and Online 6 4.3333 2.16025 Broadcast and Online 9 2.4444 1.23603 Print, Online and Broadcasting 18 4.8889 2.44682 Total 270 3.3963 2.39469 Table 4 22. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and News Source Combination Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Groups 207.998 6 34.666 5.738 < .001 Within Groups 1588.802 263 6.041 Total 1796.800 269 Civic Participation Between Groups 84.525 6 14.088 2.541 .021 Within Groups 1458.071 263 5.544 Total 1542.596 269
71 Table 4 23. Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Not a member of FB college group 58 2.4310 2.24087 Member of FB college group 211 3.0806 2.66157 Total 269 2.9405 2.58660 Civic Participation Not a member of FB college group 57 2.6491 2.52481 Mem ber of FB college group 212 3.5849 2.32386 Total 269 3.3866 2.39386 Table 4 24. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Facebook Group Page Members and Non Members Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Gr oups 19.194 1 19.194 2.889 .090 Within Groups 1773.854 267 6.644 Total 1793.048 268 Civic Participation Between Groups 39.338 1 39.338 7.019 .009 Within Groups 1496.454 267 5.605 Total 1535.792 268 Table 4 25. Descriptive Statistic for Political and Civic Participation, and College Student N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Not a member of FB Col. Std. Org. grp. 165 2.3091 2.17418 A member of FB Col. Std. Org. grp. 104 3.9423 2.86874 Total 269 2.9405 2.58660 Civic Participation Not a member of FB Col. Std. Org. grp. 164 2.8110 2.20309 A member of FB Col. Std. Org. grp. 105 4.2857 2.41276 Total 269 3.3866 2.39386
72 Table 4 26. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participat ion, and College Student Members Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Groups 170.158 1 170.158 27.995 < .001 Within Groups 1622.890 267 6.078 Total 1793.048 268 Civic Participation Between Groups 139.223 1 139.223 26.617 < .001 Within Groups 1396.569 267 5.231 Total 1535.792 268 Table 4 27 Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and University Facebook Group N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Not a member of Univ. FB group pg. 198 2.5354 2.30565 A member of Univ. FB group pg. 71 4.0704 2.98244 Total 269 2.9405 2.58660 Civic Participation Not a member of Univ. FB group pg. 197 3.0558 2.18107 A member of Univ. FB gr oup pg. 72 4.2917 2.71375 Total 269 3.3866 2.39386 Table 4 28. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation and University Facebook Group Members and Non Members Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Groups 123.148 1 123.148 19.690 < .001 Within Groups 1669.900 267 6.254 Total 1793.048 268 Civic Participation Between Groups 80.531 1 80.531 14.775 < .001 Within Groups 1455.261 267 5.450 Total 1535.792 268
73 Table 4 29. Descriptive Statistics for Po litical and Civic Participation and Facebook Political Group Page/s N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Not a member of Polit. FB grp pg. 232 2.3707 2.06614 A member of Polit. FB grp pg. 37 6.5135 2.68351 Total 269 2.9405 2.58660 Civi c Participation Not a member of Political FB group pg. 232 3.0302 2.25514 A member of Political FB group pg. 37 5.6216 2.01868 Total 269 3.3866 2.39386 Table 4 30. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Facebook Political Group Page/s Members and Non Members Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Groups 547.684 1 547.684 117.421 < .001 Within Groups 1245.364 267 4.664 Total 1793.048 268 Civic Participation Between Groups 214.300 1 214.300 43.298 < .001 Within Groups 1321.491 267 4.949 Total 1535.792 268 Table 4 31. Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and Facebook News Portal Page/s Member N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Not a member of ne ws portal FB pg. 185 2.4000 2.31301 A member of news portal FB pg. 84 4.1310 2.76719 Total 269 2.9405 2.58660 Civic Participation Not a member of news portal FB pg. 184 2.8859 2.24047 A member of news portal FB pg. 85 4.4706 2.36838 Total 269 3.38 66 2.39386
74 Table 4 32. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Facebook News Portal Page/s Member and Non Members Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Groups 173.089 1 173.089 28.528 < .001 Within Groups 1619.960 267 6.067 Total 1793.048 268 Civic Participation Between Groups 146.012 1 146.012 28.051 < .001 Within Groups 1389.780 267 5.205 Total 1535.792 268 Table 4 33. Descriptive Statistics for Political and Civic Participation and So cial/Civic Organization Facebook Page Member N Mean Std. Deviation Political Participation Not a mem. of Soc/Civ.Org FB grup. 191 2.5236 2.35489 A mem. of Soc/Civ. Org. FB pg. 78 3.9615 2.84875 Total 269 2.9405 2.58660 Civic Participation Not a mem. of Soc/Civ.Org FB grup. 190 2.8895 2.26625 A mem. of Soc/Civ. Org. FB pg. 79 4.5823 2.27927 Total 269 3.3866 2.39386 Table 4 34. ANOVA Between Political and Civic Participation, and Social/Civic Organization Facebook Page Members Sum of Squar es df Mean Square F Sig. Political Participation Between Groups 114.520 1 114.520 18.216 < .001 Within Groups 1678.529 267 6.287 Total 1793.048 268 Civic Participation Between Groups 159.898 1 159.898 31.029 < .001 Within Groups 1375.894 267 5 .153 Total 1535.792 268
75 Table 4 35. Correlations Between Facebook Features Usage and Group Page Types Grup.Mem. News Portal Political Activities Social Activities Read/listen/watch news online day(s)/week Pearson Correlation .438 ** .194 .2 87 ** Sig. (2 tailed) < .001 .031 < .001 N 274 124 154
76 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION A set of two hypotheses and four research questions were employed to measure the existing gap in the political and civic participation between the Nepalese private and publ ic college undergraduate students. Meanwhile, the role of Facebook is considered in order to understand its impact on the political and civic participation rates of these two groups of students enrolled in different types of educational institution settin gs. The results obtained from the survey questionnaire data analysis are discussed in this section. Hypothesis 1: Based on the results obtained from the two public schools, it can be seen that the pattern of political and civic participation varies betwee n the students in the higher and lower levels of study in the public institutions. Interestingly, the public university undergraduate students enrolled in the lower undergraduate levels (Freshmen and Sophomore levels) showed greater political participation than those undergraduate students enrolled in the upper undergraduate levels (Junior and Senior levels). At the same time, the public university undergraduate students enrolled in the lower undergraduate levels showed lower civic participation that those enrolled in upper undergraduate levels. Additionally, the results from the multivariate test (Table 4 3) elaborates that the political and civic participation of the Nepalese undergraduate students are significantly affected by the students' undergraduate level, the types of educational institution they are enrolled in, and both combined. Generally, the newly enrolled undergraduate students in the public schools know that the public schools are politically vibrant institutions. The students in Nepal, theref ore, come prepared to be involved in student politics at the undergraduate level in public schools. The excitement and enthusiasm in their attempt to understand and to get involved in politics could have led the students in their early years of undergradua te schooling towards political
77 participation. By the time students make it to the upper level, however, they have greater social pressure, such as family responsibilities, planning a career, earning a living, and most importantly, completing their undergra duate degree and finding a job. These added reasons may have led many students to participate less in political activities. However, civic participation for students in the upper levels increased. This may be due hich has an effect on their civic participation at both lower and upper levels. It is noticeable that education on civic participation exists even in the environment of a struggling democracy like Nepal. In other words, the education level can have a posit 1717), but also in a struggling democracy as shown by this study. Therefore this finding also supports a claim in a study by Campbell (2006), in which he stated that th e positive relationship between education and civic engagement is universal (p. 23). Hypothesis 2: Further tests on the political and civic participation of the Nepalese undergraduate students and provided evidence supporting the claim by Snellinger (2005) Snellinger (2005) claimed that the students enrolled in public schools are more politically active than students enrolled in private schools, and this remains true even today. The gap in political participation was born with the introduction of private s chools which prevailed through the 1990s, the first decade of the 21st century and still continuing. The findings also suggest that the administrative bodies belonging to the respective private schools remained reluctant to change findings of this study show that the practice continues even today. In addition, this study has also found out that the undergraduate students enrolled in public schools are also mor e civically active in comparison to the ones enrolled in private
78 schools, overall. So, the gap exists not only in the political participation of the students, but also in the civic participation between the student groups in public and private schools. It is unknown however, if the gap in civic participation is also an outcome of the increase in private schools. Contrasting to this finding, there is evidence suggesting that most private schools are better at ublic schools (e.g., Dee, 2003; and Cambell, 2001), in the western countries. This is not quite the case in Nepal. According to Snellinger (2005), the Nepalese education system does not provide the student with an opportunity to debate on the nationalist history that is being taught (p. 38). Due to this lack of opportunity for debate, the students in private schools in Nepal, a struggling democracy, are not encouraged to engage in civic participation. This finding about private schools in Nepal contradicts enjoy a democratic setting, and engage in debates on topics of national interest incorporated into the curriculum. This is quite different from t he environment in Nepalese educational institutions, political participation. Alongside these arguments, this finding helps reaffirm that the effects of corp orate educational culture continue to show similar effects on the public sphere of students as it did in early 1990s. The private school administrators in Nepal ignore the possible overriding of democratic impulses and practices of students. This threatens not only the understanding of democracy and participation of students, but also the manner in which these students address the real purpose of higher education. This corresponds well with the observations of Edward Herman and Robert McChesney (1997), wh ere non commercialized public spheres did have an
79 community is discussed and debated, and where information is presented that is essential to citizen participation i structured in a manner to silence their public voices as the market advantages of private schools replace the democratic, political and civic freedom of students. It is because the pr ivate schools Furthermore, it is important to mention again that the public sphere, which according to the emergence of bourgeois society in the 17th and 18th century, later saw a decline. The decline in this liberal political theory was largely associated with the introduction of capitalism in the public realm. In Nepal, the public u niversity and the colleges associated with it were the modern day coffeehouses where the public sphere saw its birth. On the other hand, the private schools are still serving the purpose of capitalism that is creating the political and civic gap between t he student groups in the public and private schools. Due to sociopolitical situations like the one in Nepal, and similar situations in other developing countries, the gap between student interest in political and civic actions continues to exist in public and private schools. Several scholars like Farser (1992) argued that public sphere theory was important for critical theory, which even Habarmas (1992) acknowledges. The concept of a single public sphere does not bring competing spheres into an account. O ne such competing sphere in Nepal is students. There can also be other competing spheres formed as the result of cast, creed, color, religion, and social status etc., both throughout the country and within the realm of the student population. All of them m
80 public sphere. Public spheres in such conditions can also create discourse in these spheres, as it is most likely that there are also the possibility of unequal opportunities. Research q uestions: Another sign ificant contribution of this study is evaluating the role of Facebook in the political and civic participation gap which exists between the Nepalese undergraduate students in private and public schools. Several studies from the past that were conducted in different settings and school environments suggest that there is a strong relationship However, this study is the first of its kind to examine the impact of Facebo ok (social media) on political participation by a group of people (undergraduate students) measured in a setting where there is already an existing gap created by the private and public school settings. Therefore, for research purposes, the pattern of Face book usage by the Nepalese students is introduced in the section below. To discover that over 94% of Nepalese students are active Facebook users at present was a surprising result, considering that both the Internet and Facebook were not easily available in Nepal until the mid 2000s. Close to 60% of Nepalese students have also been using Facebook, and the Internet for 3 years or more, with as many as 55.6% using it to communicate with friends, family or both. The descriptive finding also indicated that clo se to 80% of the students use Facebook at least once a day, and close to 60% of students spent at least one hour every day on Facebook. More often than not, new technologies always have had their mobilizing power. This remains true for 18 th century newspa pers, the electric telegraph in 1837, telephone in 1876, radio in 1895, and television in 1923 (Shirky, 2012). It looked like these forms of media were going to serve the public sphere after their invention and upon their adoption by the people. Yet, in th e
81 19 th to many mode of communication. This was especially true with the TV, radio and newsp apers. The new media, the Internet and Facebook, are comparatively better than just one to many in general. The findings in Research Question 1 indicated that the Internet and Facebook have mobilized this trait with full power among the Nepalese undergrad uate students. This mobilizing power is seen not just in the medium (the Internet and Facebook), but in the devices that support the medium as well. The finding in Research Question 2 affirms this mobilization of devices that are used to access Facebook an d the Internet. The findings from Research Question 2 suggest that PCs and laptops are the most used devices to access Facebook by the Nepalese undergraduate students. Cell phones are the next most widely used devices to access Facebook. The fact that the cell phone usage is closing the gap with the use of PCs and laptops for Internet access provides further evidence to back up the of cell phone users with Internet a ccess in Nepal, as shown in Table 2 1. Other mobile devices, such as the iPod, iPad, tablet, etc., are the least used devices by the Nepalese students to access Facebook and the Internet. However, no significant relationship was found between students who are enrolled in the public and private undergraduate institutions and their use of various devices to connect with Facebook and the Internet. Another important finding of this study was that use of PCs/laptops and use of mobile technology was virtually the same for both private and public students. This indicates that there that socioeconomic status and other social backgrounds of a student determine whether a st udent
82 will join a public school or a private school. However, these findings suggest the socioeconomic differences and other social background classifications have no relationship with the type of devices the Nepalese undergraduate students choose in order to access Facebook and the Internet. This is especially true for the devices such as PCs, laptops and cell phones. In other words, there may be differences in choosing what type of school a student can/may choose depending upon the socioeconomic backgroun d of the students, but not necessarily what devices are used for accessing Facebook and the Internet. However, as suggested by Koirala (2010) earlier, this may be the outcome of market competition between service providers in the IT field, as the result of which, the devices and services are getting cheaper over time. In this case, the findings present an interesting scenario that is both similar as well as the 1 9 th century. The decline was mainly because the market economy and commercialization interfered with the media. In Nepal, however, the impact of the market economy and commercialization improved the political and civic participation (public sphere) of the students. Perhaps, we can put it this way. It is the commercialization of the media (the devices and the medium) that benefits and increases the public sphere. On the other hand, the commercialization of the media (the content) is the one that causes the d ecline of the public sphere. This is true, at least in Nepal. Besides, Habermas (1996) has mentioned that the public spheres are continuously changing, a process which may be accelerated by the Internet. Therefore, changes in the society provoke discussion about the public spheres that are present at the time of crisis. On top of that, when the medium (the I nternet) becomes cheaper in some developing countries, such as Nepal in this case, growth in informational empowerment of the students is experienced. M eyer (1997) describes such benefits from the use of the Internet, in the economic and political domain.
83 Next, it is important to see if the new media, Facebook and the Internet, are going to replicate better or worse results when serving the norms of the p ublic sphere by leading to greater democratization in Nepal. The author examined some of the features which may lead to such democratization such as: the ability to exchange dialogues rapidly, including those of students (from both public and private schoo ls) by providing the same opportunity to participate; eradicating the blockades created by the private schools to limit their marginalized students from fully accomplishing their democratic rights etc. It seems, at present, that the virtual space may prov ide a practice that is equivalent to the public sphere. The communication and debates in Nepalese schools that occurred before the advent of the Internet and Facebook did not take place without institutional coercion, especially in the private schools. The where there is a true representation of students from both public and private schools. Lik ewise, Research Question 3 found that there was a positive correlation between the political and civic participation and number of days in a typical week the students read, listened to, or watched news content on the Internet. Basically, this finding sugge sts the more a Nepalese undergraduate student goes online for news and current affairs in a typical week, the more he/she is likely to be both politically and civically active and vice versa. This was true for students in both public and private schools. S imilarly, the findings from Research Question 4 indicate a positive correlation between online news consumption habits of the students and their chances of following a Facebook page which belongs to news portals. Those who read news from online sources wer e more likely to
84 become a member of the Facebook pages which belong to news portals and also comment, tag, In contrast, it was interesting to find out that there is a negative correlation betwe en the Facebook page that belonged to political, and social activities. In other words, it can be said that those who get their news from online sources are not likely to follow Facebook pages belonging to a political activity or social activity. This indicates that an increase in online news consumption by the students does not motivate them to follow Facebook pages related to political and social activities. Or, an increa se in news consumption from online sources decreases political and civic participation on Facebook. Therefore, it is less likely that the students will also comment, tag, like or share the posts on the Facebook pages that belong to political parties (or or ganizations) and social organizations. However, it does not guarantee the students offline political and civic participation. The correlation can also be viewed from the perspective that the differences in the the possible influence that the Internet and Facebook have on their political and civic participation. Here, the new media seem to have provided the reason for obtai ning such a result may well have to do with very little differences between students in the public and private schools in; there is no technology gap or digital divide between the two groups of students (Research Question 3); and their online news consumpt ion habit and their political and civic participation on Facebook (Research Question 4). Consequently, it appears that the new virtual media and the virtual sphere have provided is helping to keep
85 a balance on the online in political and civic participation gaps among the students in public and private schools. Whereas, there is still a gap in their offline political and civic participation. Recommendations: First it is recommend ed that future studies attempt to find the reasons for the contrasting behavior shown by Nepalese undergraduate students who consume news from online sources, but show no political and civic participation on Facebook (Research Question 4). Future academic endeavors are also recommended to make use of the tests in Research Question 3 as a stepping stone for further exploration and confirmatory empirical work towards understanding the causalities of the outcome. The outcome suggested that there is a positive correlation between the political and civic participation and number of days in a typical week the students read, listened to, or watched news content on the Internet. It is important to give focus to the specific contextual elements because they have crea ted a public sphere in the specific circumstances in Nepal. Apart from these recommendations, future researchers can also study the use of Facebook participation. Af ter all, the recent 2 nd constitutional election in Nepal held on November 19 th 2013, is the first of its kind on many fronts. This was the first election where many the electoral candidates used Facebook (social media), which may have had a high chance of affecting the civic and political participation of the populace. At the same time, it was also be the first time that the Nepalese voters (the public) may have discussed or followed a certain candidate or a ernet or via social media. These scenarios may provide a great window to look at the political and civic participation behavior as shown by the Nepalese public, while the country heads towards making a great leap forward, not just politically and socially, but also digitally as has been demonstrated for the past few years.
86 Limitations: There are basically two major limitations that the author presents about this study. The tests here are conducted to study the public and private undergraduate colleges locat ed in the Kathmandu Valley. Therefore, the results may not present a true picture of the political and civic participation by the students enrolled in the undergraduate level colleges outside Kathmandu Valley, or the entire nation. This study has included four undergraduate level colleges affiliated to two different university systems of Nepal. As mentioned earlier, three undergraduate level schools Institute of Engineering (IoE), Tri Chandra Campus (TCC), and DAV College of Management (DAV CoM) were affil iated with the Tribuwan University (TU), and the School of Environmental Science and Management (SchEMs) was affiliated with Pokhara University (PU). Since the 1990s, the number of universities has increased. There are over a dozen universities in Nepal. E very university prefers and allows different levels of political participation. Therefore, it may also be possible that the findings of this study may not reflect the real picture of the political and civic participation by the students enrolled in other u niversities. This study was conducted with limited facilities and under a time constraint. It is also the first of its kind in Nepal. Although the samples collected were from Kathmandu, it is important to understand that all the educational institutions lo cated in the Kathmandu Valley, irrespective of their affiliation with different universities, enroll students from all over the country. This study provides a window of opportunity for future researchers interested in conducting a similar kind of study or the studies that are recommended by the author.
87 APPENDIX SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE General Information 1. Sex ____Male _____Female 2. Your Age ___________ 3. Level of Undergraduate a. 1 st Year b. 2 nd Year c. 3 rd Year d. 4 th Year 4. Where did you grow up in a Nepal? a. K athmandu Valley** b. Outside the Kathmandu Valley 5. If (b) Outside the Kathmandu Valley**, Where? __________________________________ 6. Name of your college/campus _____________________________ 7. Affiliated University _____________________________ 8. Email (Optional) _____________________________ Personal Value 9. How interested do you think students should be in politics? a. Extremely interested b. Very interested c. Somewhat interested d. A little interested e. Not at all interested 10. How int erested do you think students should be in *civic participation? a. Extremely interested b. Very interested c. Somewhat interested d. A little interested e. Not at all interested
88 11. How interested would you say you are in politics? a. Extremely interested b. Very interested c. Some what interested d. A little interested e. Not at all interested 12. How interested would you say you are in *civic participation? a. Extremely interested b. Very interested c. Somewhat interested d. A little interested e. Not at all interested Civic participation refers to act ivities such as membership of any organization, volunteering project or organization, charity work, activism, voting, protest, attending *nonpolitical rallies etc. Nonpolitical Issues like load shedding (power cuts), drinking water supply, road construc tion and maintenance, etc. Political Participation 13. Have you ever voted in a national election? Yes No 14. Are you part of any political organization on or off campus? Yes No 15. Have you ever taken part in a campus/university level election to vote for a student representative? Yes No 16. Will you most likely vote in an upcoming national or c ampus election? Yes No 17. During Last 12 months, have you done any of the following? a. Contacted a government official at an y level of government to express your opinion Yes No b. Worked for a political party or candidate Yes No c. Contributed money for a political campaign Yes No d. Attended a political meeting, rally, or speech Yes No
89 e. Di splayed a political button, sticker, sign Yes No f. Signed or written petition about a political issues Yes No g. Tried to persuaded others to vote in an election Yes No h. Performed at least one of the above activities (a g) online? Yes No Civic Participa tion 18. During last 12 months, have you done any of the following on or off campus? a. Served as a part/member of any organization? Yes No b. Worked or volunteered on community project Yes No c. Worked or volunteered for nonpolitical organization, such as student association group Yes No d. Raised money for a charity Yes No e. Donated money for a nonpolitical issue Yes No f. Attended a nonpolitical meeting, rally or speech Yes No g. Displayed *nonpolitical buttons, stickers, signs Yes No h. Signed or written petition about nonpolitical issues Yes No i. Performed at least one of the above activities (a h) online? Yes No Nonpolitical Issues like Load Shielding (Power cuts), drinking water supply, road construction and maintenance etc.
90 Media/News consumption habit and Internet/Facebook use 19. How many days in a typical week do you read a newspaper? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 20. How many days in a typical week do you watch televised news programs? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 21. How many days in a typical week do you read/listen/watch news online? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 22. Where do you get MOST of your news (information) about current events? a. [ ] Printed (Newspaper/Magazines) b. [ ] Broadcast (Television/Radio) c. [ ] Online (News portals, social media) 23. List and rank the TOP 5 social networking sites and/or micro blogging sites that you visit/have accounts with, if you visit any? (1 being visit mo st and 5 being fifth most least) 1. ________________ 2. ________________ 3. ________________ 4. ________________ 5. ________________ 24. Do you currently have an active Facebook account? Y es No **If your answer to question (24) is YES skip (26) 25. Did you deactivate y our Facebook account? a. Yes** b. No c. Never had one so far. _____________________________________________________ 37).
91 26. Wh at prompted you to create a Facebook account? _________________________________________________________ 27. For how long have you been using Facebook? a. Less than 1 Year b. 1 to 2 Years c. 2 to 3 years d. 3 years or more 28. How often do you use your Fac ebook account? a. Multiple times a day* b. Daily c. Weekly d. Monthly e. Rarely f. Never 29. If (a) Multiple times a day* how many times a day? __________ 30. On average, how much time do you spend on Facebook daily? a. Less than 1 hour b. 1 2 hours c. 2 3 hours d. 3 4 hours e. 4 5 hours f. More than 5 hours 31. How do you connect to your Facebook account? Check [ ] all that implies a. [ ] PC Computer/Laptop b. [ ] Phone c. [ ] Other mobile devices d. [ ] All of the above. 32. Which one do you use the most to connect to Facebook? a. PC Computer/Laptop b. Phone c. Other mobile devices d. All of the above
92 33. How often do you update/chan ge your Facebook status? a. Multiple times a day* b. Once a day c. Weekly d. Monthly e. Rarely f. Never 34. If (a) Multiple times a day* how many times a day? _______ 35. I am Facebook group member with [Check [ ] all that implies to you] a. [ ] Your College b. [ ] College stu dent organization c. [ ] University group page d. [ ] Political group page e. [ ] News portal f. [ ] Social/Civic organization group page g. [ ] Others __________________________________________ h. [ ] None 36. Rank your following activities 1 6, 1 being act ivity that you do most and 6 being activity that you do least a. ___ Update status b. c. d. e. ___ Tagging Pictures f. ___ E mail 37. Of those mentioned below, CHECK [ ] with whom you are a Friend/Member and how often do you Comment, Tag a picture, Like or Share their post/s? Daily Weekly Monthly Rarely Never a. [ ] Friends [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] b. [ ] Family [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] c. [ ] Celebrities [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] d. [ ] College Activities [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] e. [ ] Political Activities [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] f. [ ] Societal Activities [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] g. [ ] Current events/News outlets [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] h. [ ] Co workers [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] i. [ ] Work [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] j. [ ] Others _________________ [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
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100 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH A Sanam Bhaila was born in 1982 in Nepal. He spent his early years in Banepa, Nepal with his family. He went to Thanjavur located in the state Tamil Nadu, India to complete his schooling from 7 th grade onwards, until high school. He returned to Nepal in 2001. He completed his diploma in Media Technology from Shepherded College of Media Technology in Kathmandu. After completing his diploma, in 2006, he came to the U.S. in August 2006 to complete his undergraduate degree. In 2010, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Nebraska, Kearney. He received his MAMC from the University of Florida in the fall of 2013.