Social networks, polarization and collective action in Chile, Colombia and Peru

Project: Research

Project Details

Project summary

The purpose of this research is to analyze the relationship between the political use of virtual social networks, polarization and collective action in Chile, Colombia and Peru. The research sample will be composed of Chilean, Colombian and Peruvian participants of legal age, users of social networks. The research design is multivariate and is based on the structural equation model. Firstly, the political use of social networks will be taken as a predictor variable and polarization as a result variable, with the variables of the SIMCA Model (emotions, morale, identity and efficacy) being the mediators. Subsequently, a chain mediation will be included studying the relationship between the variables of the SIMCA Model with collective action (dependent variable) considering polarization as a mediating variable. Finally, the goodness of fit of the proposed model will be analyzed and the results will be contrasted by country.


There is frequent political use of virtual social networks (Bavel et al., 2021): positions are expressed, information is disseminated and participation is called for (Alberici and Milesi, 2018). It has been studied how this use is related to collective actions. In Chile, for example, the empowerment that indigenous movements have gained by using digital networks has been investigated (Lupien, 2020), in Colombia the use that has been given in the student movement has been investigated (Archila et al, 2020) and In Peru, there are studies on social networks and collective action related to the movement for women's rights (Caballero, 2019) and youth protagonism in politics (Villanueva, 2015, 2021). There are also studies on the relationship between psychological variables, such as self-efficacy, cyberactivism and collective action (Halpern et al., 2017; Ruiz-Dodobara et al., 2021). In addition, work has been done on the relationship between polarization and the use of social networks. For example, it is argued that the use of social networks can lead to polarization through homophily and echo chambers (Yarchi et al., 2020; Törnberg, 2018) or through exposure to opposing points of view (Iandoli et al. , 2021). What is very little studied is the articulation between the use of social networks, polarization and collective action (Roblain & Green, 2021). Expanding knowledge about the relationship between these three variables is important since, in the three countries of the study, political polarization has been growing (Somma et al., 2021; Sulmont, 2021).
Effective start/end date1/04/2231/03/23

Collaborative partners


  • Universidad de Lima: PEN88,800.00


  • Social media
  • Polarization
  • collective action
  • SIMCA model

Research areas and lines

  • Citizenship
  • Political processes
  • Interpersonal communication

Kind of research

  • Basic


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