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#AreYouBetterOff?: En twitterstudie av the Republican och the Democratic Partys framing av presidentkandidaterna under valkampanjen 2012
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [sv]

Denna empiriska studie tar sin utgångspunkt i området politisk kommunikation och har till syfte att redogöra för republikanernas och demokraternas kommunikation på Twitter i samband med det amerikanska presidentvalet 2012. Studien består av en såväl kvantitativ som kvalitativ undersökning. Materialet utgörs av partiernas egenproducerade twitterinlägg på deras respektive officiella twitterkonto. Materialet är begränsat efter en specifik tidsavgränsning som är anpassad efter partiernas nationella konventperioder.

              Syftet med den kvantitativa delen är att redogöra för vilka personer som nämns på partiernas Twitter under denna period, samt hur ofta de nämns. En kvantitativ analys av 735 inlägg identifierar såväl personer som frekvensen av dem.

              Syftet med den kvalitativa delen, som bygger på den kvantitativa studiens resultat, är att undersöka hur republikanerna presenterar Barack Obama och hur demokraterna framställer Mitt Romney. I denna del analyseras och kategoriseras 309 twitterinlägg. Syftet med kategoriseringen är att skönja i vilka sammanhang som partierna presenterar sina motståndare i. Den kvalitativa undersökningens analys grundar sig på Erving Goffmans och Robert M. Entmans teorier kring framing.

              Resultatet av den kvantitativa och kvalitativa undersökningen påvisar att presidentkandidaterna nämns oftare än samtliga övriga omnämnda personer tillsammans. Inom båda partierna presenteras motståndarpartiets presidentkandidat i samband med aktuella frågor som berör amerikansk politik. Respektive partis presentation av sin motståndarkandidat visar sig vara uteslutande negativ. Demokraterna presenterar Romney allt som oftast i samband med sakfrågor, medan republikanerna i större utsträckning kritiserar Obama med personliga påhopp.

              Något denna studie påvisar är att negative campaigning, som tidigare mestadels funnits i traditionella mediers reklamkampanjer, numera även i hög grad förekommer på sociala medier som Twitter.

Abstract [en]

This study derives from the scientific research on political communication through an empirical study of the Republican and the Democratic Parties’ communication on Twitter in conjunction with the 2012 national conventions. Following the launch of social media during the last decade, the use of this form of communication is gaining ground as an integral part of political campaigning.  Reports on the two parties’ political campaigning leading up to the 2012 presidential election, has described it as massive and largely negative and the rather frequent appearance of celebrities, including the candidates’ own spouses have been commonplace. Through a quantitative analysis of 735 tweets, this study identifies the individuals mentioned, as well how frequent these were referred to in the Republican and the Democratic Party’s tweets.

              Additionally, through a qualitative analysis of 309 tweets, this study reveals how the Republican Party and the Democratic Party present their opponents, namely Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, on Twitter. Based on their content, the tweets were divided into categories reflecting the subject matter and/or context in which the presidential candidates are presented by their opponent party. In order to discern how the parties use context to present their opponent, the analysis is based on theories on framing deriving from Erving Goffman and Robert M. Entman.

              The study finds that the presidential candidates were mentioned more frequently than all the other individuals put together. The Republican Party referred to Obama more often than their own candidate, while the Democratic Party mentioned Romney nearly as many times as they referred to their own candidate. Furthermore, the presidential candidates are most often presented by their opponent party in relation to ongoing issues in American politics in which they are presented in negative, questioning and critical terms. A majority of the tweets speak to the issue, but some also constitute criticism of the person.

This study concludes that negative campaigning and an extensive focus on the opponent, which is known within American political advertising in traditional media, also is applied on Twitter. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 67 p.
Keyword [en]
Election campaign 2012, framing, Twitter, negative campaigning, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party
Keyword [sv]
Presidentvalet 2012, Twitter, republikaner, demokrater, negative campaigning
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-194248OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-194248DiVA: diva2:604598
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-02-13 Created: 2013-02-11 Last updated: 2013-02-13Bibliographically approved

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