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Twitter and the celebritisation of politics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2014 (English)In: Celebrity Studies, ISSN 1939-2397, Vol. 5, no 4, 518-520 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A distinctive feature of our time is the constant circulation of mediated images of celebrities, a process that has taken new directions after the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This article draws on the contention that contemporary politics is increasingly celebritised, both in terms of how politicians are folded into specific celebrity frames in the news media and in the way politicians ‘perform’ their own professional and private identities through frequent use of social media. Recently, Twitter has become an established platform for a more personal form of political communication, where politicians can influence and network with news media professionals as well as showcase images of their successful and glamorous lives.

Drawing on examples from the prolific tweeter and Swedish minister for foreign affairs Carl Bildt we argue that the celebritisation of politics that takes place on Twitter can be conceptualised in terms of three modes of ‘performed connectivity’: public, media and celebrity connectivity respectively. As an analytical concept, performed connectivity accentuates that political communication on Twitter is increasingly performative, meaning that it exhibits the professional as well as private sides of politicians’ daily lives. The term also underlines that this performativity is intimately linked to ideas of connectivity, which create associations of status and ‘known-ness’ in the digital public space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014. Vol. 5, no 4, 518-520 p.
Keyword [en]
Twitter, politics, Bildt, celebrity, connectivity
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109077DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2014.981038OAI: diva2:762298
Available from: 2014-11-11 Created: 2014-11-11 Last updated: 2014-12-09Bibliographically approved

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Ekman, MattiasWidholm, Andreas
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