Comm alumnus’ book explores ‘Facebook Democracy’

FSU School of Communication alumnus José Marichal (’91), an associate professor of political science at California Lutheran University (CLU), is the author of a new book, “Facebook Democracy: The Architecture of Disclosure and the Threat to Public Life.”

Using an ethnographic analysis of 250 Facebook political groups, Marichal explores the impact of Facebook on citizens in our democracy. He makes the argument that social discourse and social integration are lost because Facebook’s business model fills its users need for an “affirming environment” in “pre-selected social networks.” Furthermore, rather than being for the purpose of mobilization, Facebook political discussions tend to be for the purpose of venting one’s feelings.

Marichal earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and English from Florida State University. He received a master’s in political science from Florida Atlantic University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since 2004, has been a member of the CLU faculty, teaching in areas such as politics and the Internet, politics and race, and public policy.