Constructing the Visual Online Political Self

Mahoney, Jamie, Feltwell, Tom, Ajuruchi, Obinna and Lawson, Shaun (2016) Constructing the Visual Online Political Self. In: CHI 2016 - Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 7th - 12th May 2016, San Jose, CA.

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This paper presents an investigation of how the Scottish electorate utilised photo-sharing on social media as a means of participation in the democratic process and for political self-expression in the periods immediately prior to two recent major democratic votes: the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, and the 2015 UK general election. We extend previous HCI literature on the growing use of social media in a political context and contribute specifically on understanding the emergent use of visual media by citizens when engaging with political issues and democratic process. Through a qualitative analysis of images shared on the platform Instagram, we demonstrate that the Scottish electorate did indeed used image-sharing for political self-expression -- posting a variety of visual content, representative of a diversity of political opinion. We conclude that users utilised Instagram as a platform to craft and present their "political selves". We raise questions for future research around power and inequality on such platforms as well as their capability of providing a persistent forum for debate.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Instagram; politics; social media; photo-sharing; activism
Subjects: C800 Psychology
L200 Politics
P300 Media studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 08:59
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 12:13

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