Negotiating the Political Self on Social Media Platforms An In-Depth Study of Image-Management in an Election-Campaign in a Multi-Party Democracy

Authors

  • Jakob Svensson Karlstad University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v4i2.150

Keywords:

E-democracy, E-campaigning, Expressive Rationality, Image-Management, Late Modernity, Social Media

Abstract

The elections 2010 were the first in Sweden where social media platforms were used to a large extent by politicians and parties in their campaigns. In this paper we follow the liberal parliamentarian Nina Larsson, who in tandem with traditional election campaigning used social media platforms with the guidance of a local communication agency, Hello Clarice. The paper is theoretically grounded in an understanding of our time as late modern, of social media use as expressive and web campaigning as to large extent revolving around image-management. The research question that will be attended to in this paper is how Nina Larsson used social media platforms in her campaign negotiate the image of herself. The methods used for empirical data-gathering are inspired by (n)ethnography, with both participant observation online and offline, interviews as well as content analyses of Nina's social media postings. Results indicate that she used social media platforms to control her political image, to amplify selected text - texts that often originated in offline/broadcast media – and to negotiate a position within the Liberal Party rather than to deliberate with potential voters.

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Author Biography

Jakob Svensson, Karlstad University

Assistant Professor at the Department of Media and Communication Studies.

Director if the research network HumanIT, www.kau.se/en/humanit

Published

2012-12-19

How to Cite

Svensson, J. (2012). Negotiating the Political Self on Social Media Platforms An In-Depth Study of Image-Management in an Election-Campaign in a Multi-Party Democracy. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 4(2), 183-197. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v4i2.150

Issue

Section

Research Papers