College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

International Studies


agency, social media, public sphere, political subjectivity, Facebook


This thesis argues that Facebook can create the conditions of possibility for a dynamic, deliberative space for human engagement which can potentially lead to the formation of globally networked, active, empowered political subjects. This thesis examines Facebook as a contemporary version of the Habermasian public sphere while tracing the development of political consciousness in a particular person at a particular moment through engagement with Facebook. By using this self-reflective approach, I critically examine my own experiences alongside public sphere and social media literature which both suggest that Facebook may offer a new way to engage politically in ways that are consistent with a contemporary understanding of the Habermasian public sphere. Starting with the premise that Facebook, along with other social media platforms, shapes the contours of politics on an international scale, this thesis contributes to scholarship related to the formation of political subjectivity and human agency.