Genres of political communication in Web 2.0

Authored by: Helmut Gruber

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Politics

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138779167
eBook ISBN: 9781315183718
Adobe ISBN:


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The internet and its different forms of communication (as many previous technological innovations) has been hailed as providing enhanced opportunities for reshaping political communication by some authors, whereas others have been less optimistic (Larsson 2013). This chapter reviews research on social-media platforms' affordances for the key ‘players’ of political communication (politicians, citizens) and how these players use social media when they engage in political communication. It will then try to provide a preliminary answer to the question that underlies the two positions sketched here, namely, whether or not social media provide participants of political communication with qualitatively new communicative possibilities. For this reason (and because of the limited space available for this literature overview), studies that use social-media texts from other contexts (such as media discussion boards) in order to investigate ‘traditional’ topics of critical discourse scholarship such as racist communication (e.g. Dorostkar & Preisinger 2012; Angouri & Wodak 2014), or (social) identity issues (KhosraviNik & Zia 2014; KhosraviNik 2014; Barton & Lee 2013) will not be considered here.

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