Journal Article

Political communication in an age of visual connectivity: Exploring instagram practices among swedish politicians

Publication

Abstract

This article explores the specific features of Instagram as a platform for visual politi- cal communication. Drawing on theories of mediatization and celebrity politics, it analyses how various forms of symbolic connectivity are expressed and performed by sixteen leading politicians in Sweden, and moreover how their social media use relates to news media. The study leans on a content analysis (n=800) and results show that journalism still holds a strong symbolic value, even when politicians are in charge of the political discourse. In addition, it reveals how the platform logic of Instagram contributes to the formation of digital lifestyle politics, where symbolic connec- tions between politicians and a variety of actors are staged through new mediatized relations. Visual political communication does inherit a democratic and interactive potential. However, according to the analysed data, most politicians avoid public interaction. Instead, they are preoccupied with the branding of their public persona.

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Details

  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Northern Lights, Vol 15.
  • Published:
    2017
  • Language:
    English

About the Authors

Andreas Widholm

Andreas Widholm is Associate Professor of journalism in the Department of Media Studies (IMS) at Stockholm University, Sweden. His research addresses the relationship between media, politics and culture with a particular focus on journalism and so... Read more

Reference

Ekman, M. and Widholm, A. (2017). Political communication in an age of visual connectivity: Exploring instagram practices among swedish politicians. Northern Lights, 15. Available at: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/intellect/nl/2017/00000015/00000001/art00002# [Accessed 25 Nov. 2017].