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Universitas-XXI, Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas

versión On-line ISSN 1390-8634versión impresa ISSN 1390-3837


ZUMARRAGA-ESPINOSA, Marcos; EGAS-BALSECA, Sonia  y  REYES-VALENZUELA, Carlos. Worry about COVID-19 and its effects on the online political participation of citizens in the Ecuadorian context. Universitas [online]. 2022, n.36, pp.195-219. ISSN 1390-8634.

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has generated worry in citizens due to the administration that Latin American States have been carrying out, especially in relation to political measures adopted to counteract its health, economic and social repercussions. These official actions have elicited diverse responses in people to deal with the impact of the pandemic, which may vary in high concern and sense of vulnerability, diverse forms of emotional expression, solidarity actions or political participation. The aim of the study is to explore the role of individual concern experienced in the face of COVID-19 and its impact on political participation through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. The empirical study was based on a non-probabilistic survey of 920 people residing in Quito-Ecuador, applied prior to the general elections held in February 2021. The results show, at a general level, a significant indirect effect of concern about the impact of the pandemic on digital political participation, mediated by political concern. Thus, the politicization of concern about COVID-19 operates as a mechanism that enables the mobilization of political actions through virtual media, which are more intense on Twitter and Facebook, while this mobilizing effect is weakened in the case of WhatsApp. The implications of these findings, regarding the forms of citizen political action that take place in a social context marked by the impact of the health crisis and an ongoing electoral process, are discussed.

Palabras clave : Worry; COVID-19; online political participation; political concern; social media; Ecuador.

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