Gendered Discourse Strategies in Facebook Interaction during Electoral Campaigns

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Daniela ROVENTA-FRUMUSANI, Cultural Anthropology and Communication, Bucharest University, Bucharest, Romania
Alexandra IRIMESCU, Bucharest University, Romania
Blumler and Kavanagh (1999) divided political communication in Western countries into three distinct historical phases, starting with the post World War II which has been called the ‘golden age of the parties’; the second phase, starting in the 1960s, was the ‘era of television’. The third, more generally termed the digital era, characterized by an intense personalization, privatization and populism is now followed (since 2010) by the era of social media (in the opinion of most researchers).

Since gender has become one of the first languages of politics we decided to analyze the construction of women leaders’ ethos in presidential campaigns (Roventa-Frumusani 2015), as well as the intermediality of verbal-iconic signs on facebook pages. This socio-semiotic approach will be complemented by a pragmalinguistic one, concerned with the “dialogue” of (masculine vs. feminine) conversational styles in the last Romanian parliamentary campaign (2016) and will be focused on the speech acts and politeness/impoliteness strategies encountered in the followers’ comments on public facebook pages of three prominent women candidates.

The main research questions, following Nancy Fraser’s quest for women’s legitimacy (identity and statute legitimacy), are: 1. How does the plasticity of the online public sphere function in order to create the ‘networked self’ of women political leaders in search of visibility and recognition? 2. How does the audience consolidate, attack, reward the affective rhetoric of women politicians on Facebook? (emotion contagion, emotion induction).