'The development of political knowledge in adolescence: The importance of information-rich socialization contexts'
Soetkin Verhaegen and Joris Boonen (Stockholm University, Sweden; University of Leuven, Belgium)
We investigate the relation between three socialization contexts (interaction with parents, interaction with peers and exposure to news in mass media) and political knowledge among adolescents. The aim is to put the role of these socialization contexts into a comparative perspective by studying whether the 'information-rich' character of a socialization context is essential for the development of political knowledge, or whether it is particularly important that the exposure to political information takes place in an interactive way. We investigate this among adolescents, as young citizens are in a phase in life in which knowledge on societal issues is fully being developed. Using a representative dataset of 3,426 adolescents in Belgium (Parent-Child Socialization Study 2012), we analyze the role of family, peers and mass media. The analyses point at the importance of an information-rich context. Interactive exposure to political information seems to be less important for the development of political knowledge.
Keywords: political knowledge, socialization, adolescents
'Contestation and Constitution: Civil Disobedience in the 2012-2014 Refugee Protests in Germany'
Johannes Diesing (Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany)
In early 2012 in the Bavarian city of Würzburg, a group of refugees started first dramatic protest actions as a reaction to the suffering from the living conditions in refugee camps. They went on a march to the German capital Berlin. With these protests in the following months, a nationwide movement emerged. The research question of this article asks what the normative dimension of the use of civil disobedience in the refugee protests in Germany between 2012 and 2014 was. The article (1.) introduces the movement and the background of its emergence. (2.) Thereby, the particular importance of civil disobedience will be analyzed in its connectedness to the special legal status of the protesting refugees. At the center of this paper is the proposal of a radical democratic understanding of civil disobedience worked out by Etienne Balibar and Robin Celikates. This notion allows for an insight (3.) how the protests could contribute to a democratization of democracy.
Keywords: refugees, Germany, protest, civil disobedience, radical democracy, citizenship
'A Critical Analysis of the Media Discourse in daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza'
Maria Marczewska-Rytko (Lublin, Poland)
The aim of the paper is to analyze the media discourse in daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza devoted to the issue of a referendum at the nationwide level, the justifiability of using this instrument, its determinants and limitations in 2015 in Poland. The article presents the study results covering a critical analysis of the media discourse in the Gazeta Wyborcza daily, which, from its beginning, became an important medium initiating and taking an active part in the public debate. The article is divided into four parts: the discourse connected with President Bronisaw Komorowski's decision to announce a referendum; the discourse related to President Andrzej Duda's decision concerning the next referendum; the discourse before and after the referendum of 6 September 2015. Each of the discourses adopted a uniform order of analysis: first the arguments of the politicians, including the initiators - the presidents; then the arguments of journalists and commentators, as well as the arguments of scholars.
Keywords: referendum, Poland, media discourse, Gazeta Wyborcza daily, critical analysis
'Making political leaders king: Enacted credibility in times of elections'
Sabine van Zuydam and Tamara Metze (Tilburg University, the Netherlands; Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands)
Political leaders need to be persuasive to acquire support from citizens in elections and in office. Credibility is essential in this respect. Due to the mediated nature of political communication, citizens base their credibility evaluation on leaders' media presentations and the public debate in the media that develops in response to it. The source credibility approach suggests that leaders are credible if citizens consider them competent, trustworthy, and caring. What remains underexplored is how these evaluations of leaders' source credibility come about and how changes in them can be understood. To this end, we introduce the concept of enacted credibility. Enacted credibility entails the framing and reframing of leaders' credibility in the interaction between political leaders' performance, citizens, and other participants in the public debate in the media. Empirically we explore the relevance of this concept by studying the case of Dutch Social Democratic leader Job Cohen. We found that the interplay among and between participants in the public debate in the media and his media performance is key to understanding the substantial decline in his source credibility during the 2010 parliamentary election campaign. Our analysis shows that some dimensions of credibility became more salient in the public debate in the media than others, impacting the overall evaluation of his source credibility.
Keywords: credibility, framing, political leadership, performance, Twitter, mediated politics
'Gender Equality and Political Participation in Ukraine after the Euromaidan revolution'
Oleksii Polegkyi (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
In Ukraine, women's political participation is traditionally a stiff challenge. Political culture, dominant values in society and stereotypes of gender roles play an important function in limiting women's involvement in Ukrainian politics. De jure Ukraine has established the core elements of a legal and institutional framework for promoting gender equality and women`s political participation. De facto not much was improved in Ukrainian political reality in the post-communist era. After the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine has undertaken a series of legislative changes aimed to ensure a balanced representation of men and women in power. How did women's political participation change in reality?
Keywords: Ukraine, gender equality, women, political participation
Articles No. 2. Special Issue on Methods for Studies in Politics, Culture & Socialization (I).
'Rhetorical devices and audience responses in Norwegian political speeches'
Stine Iversen and Peter Bull (University of Salford, UK; University of York, UK)
This article reports the first investigation in Norwegian political speeches of 16 different rhetorical devices used to invite collective audience responses. An analysis was conducted of 30 speeches delivered by 20 Norwegian parliamentary candidates during the 2013 Norwegian general election. Results were compared with pre-existing data from American, British and Japanese political speeches. The Norwegian audience responses showed striking similarities with those of the Japanese, although the use of rhetorical devices resembled American and British speeches, with a greater use of implicit over explicit devices. The results were considered in the context of Hofstede's individualism (IDV) scale. The Norwegian speeches had one instance each of booing and a disgust response from the audience. A novel 17th rhetorical device was proposed, that of repetition/familiarity.
Keywords: political speeches, rhetorical devices, applause, booing, chanting, cheering, individualism, collectivism
'Linguistic discourse analysis as a tool for analyzing political communication'
Martina Temmerman (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Antwerp, Belgium)
This article -intended for non-linguists- introduces linguistic discourse analysis as a method for unraveling political communication mediated by mass media. After having explained what linguistic discourse analysis exactly means for me, I go on to illustrate a number of resources in this kind of analysis. With the development of linguistics, the toolkit for the analysis of the communicative roles of language has expanded over the years. Whereas early critical linguistics focused on elements like lexical structure and transitivity of the clause (e.g. the use of the passive voice), more recent linguistic analyses have pointed out the usefulness of analyzing phenomena like deixis, hedging, evidentiality and shift in footing. The elements discussed are illustrated with examples from earlier research and from a recent interview with a Flemish right-wing politician.
A careful and detailed linguistic analysis helps to reconstruct the ideational and interpersonal meanings a speaker consciously or unconsciously conveys. It brings to the surface answers to questions like which actors speakers find important in an event and how they conceive the relationships between them; whether speakers are confident that what they are saying is true or likely and if they think it is acceptable; how speakers perceive their own identity and membership of a group; whether speakers want to take the responsibility for what they are saying, and what is the source of their information.
Keywords: political communication, linguistic discourse analysis, pragmatics, journalistic interviews, transitivity, lexical structure, deixis, hedging, footing, evidentiality
'Talking politics at the dinner table: stereotypes in children's political choices'
Christ'l De Landtsheer, Lieuwe Kalkhoven, Wannes Heirman and Philippe De Vries (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
This study examines how primary school aged or middle childhood and pre-teens are led in their (potential) voting behavior by stereotypes (gender, age, ethnicity of candidates) and by social background (parents' political preferences and voting behavior, children's media use and memberships, political discussion at home). The experimental design of this study is not one that is often encountered in childhood research. In a fictitious research setting Belgian 6 to 13-year-old children (N = 264) voted for their 'ideal' mayor, based on candidates' physical appearances. Belgian original children were found to prefer young Belgian origin mayoral candidates with European looks of their own gender. The results of this experiment furthermore indicated that, besides of parents' political preferences and education, domestic political discussion is of significant influence on children's choices regarding ethnicity, gender or age of political candidates.
Keywords: political socialization, children, voting behavior, candidate evaluations, political stereotyping, parents' political preferences, Belgium
'The moderating role of political interest: Investigating involvement in institutional and non-institutional political participation among young adults in Sweden'
Viktor Dahl, Ali Abdelzadeh and Sofia Sohl (Örebro University, Sweden)
Many efforts have been made to explain variations in political participation. One such effort is made by Gamson, who hypothesized that different combinations of political efficacy and trust will generate different kinds and intensity of involvement in political activity. This study tests this hypothesis on a broad variety of political activities, while at the same time including the potentially moderating effect of people's political interest. Using data from a longitudinal study in Sweden (2009-2015), this study shows that different combinations of efficacy-trust do indeed generate distinct patterns of participation for young adults. By adding political interest to the model, the effect of certain efficacy-trust combinations on political participation is present foremost among politically interested citizens. Hence, the hypothesis requires to be complemented by political interest to more accurately understand under which circumstances people engage in various political activities.
Keywords: political participation, the Gamson hypothesis, political trust, political efficacy, political interest, young adults
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