Swedish parliamentary politicians on Twitter - a breeding pool for public debate and interaction or an extension of the downfall of the public sphere?
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
At the time of writing this thesis, 206 of the 349 Swedish parliamentary politicians had a Twitter account and many newspaper articles and the Swedish population has a positive attitude towards political participation online. But what are the politicians tweeting about? Do they write about new bills and politics or do they write about picking up their children at kindergarten? The aim of this research is to place this Swedish parliamentary politicians tweets in a public sphere context as developed by Jürgen Habermas to see what the tweets actually contain. The public sphere framework acts as a framework for classification of the tweets and is supplemented with aspects of interactivity and personification and tabloidization. The research intend to answer whether the Swedish parliamentary politicians Twitter usage is of private or public (political) character and to map the conversational interaction patterns that the tweets may contain. Extensive research has been conducted within the field of political communication and new media but the Sweden specific perspective is still relatively rare, which gives the theoretical framework and empirical material a rather original approach. To collect data, a quantitative methodology made concrete through an extensive coding guide codes tweets and in turn produces an empirical material that is processed to present the data through graphs and diagrams. The research concludes that while Twitter might be an ideal and modern vehicle for the public sphere, lack of interest from citizens and lack of conversational interactivity makes Twitter, while contributory to the public sphere, a relatively neglected channel for public debate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 56 p.
Public sphere theory, Swedish parliamentary politicians, Twitter, Interactivity, Personification
Social Sciences Media and Communications
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-203177OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-203177DiVA: diva2:635368
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Nygren, Else, Univ.lekt.