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Social Media Techno-Discursive Design, Affective Communication and Contemporary Politics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Majid Khosravinik



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The paper examines the intersection of technological design of Social Media communication, the notion of post-politics-affective turn in contemporary (Western) societies and the rise of populism as a trend in political communication. Following on conceptualizations for a Social Media approach to a broadly defined critical discourse studies framework (KhosraviNik, in: Kalyango and Kopytowska (eds) Why discourse matters: negotiating identity in the mediatized world, Peter Lang, New York, 2014, in: Flowerdew and Richardson, Routledge handbook of critical discourse studies, Routledge, London, 2017b), the paper attempts to integrate discussions on affective nature of communication in participatory web ecology and consequences of algorithmic regimentation of meaning bearing resources (e.g., news and entertainment) on Social Media. Issues around quality and distribution of digital discursive practices and their relations to traditional perceptions of rational politics, within the internalised ethos of visibility-as-legitimacy, are critically elaborated and examined. While the rise of right wing populism (e.g., Trump presidency, Brexit vote) should primarily be explicated within qualities of the context on the ground, i.e., the deliberate and well-orchestrated misplacement of real grievances in society through discursive operation and manipulation (KhosraviNik in Insight Turk 19(3):53–68, 2017a), it is equally important to critically elaborate the function and consequences of (digital) media practices as a main part of this socialization context. The overall argument here is that the hyper-normalization and triumph of neo-liberal rationality together with new media technological affordances, design and requirements have created a momentum for the growth of haphazard populist politics, i.e., the valorization of affective relevance over rational significance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): KhosraviNik M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Fundan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2018

Volume: 11

Issue: 4

Pages: 427-442

Print publication date: 01/12/2018

Online publication date: 18/04/2018

Acceptance date: 31/03/2018

Date deposited: 09/05/2018

ISSN (print): 1674-0750

ISSN (electronic): 2198-2600

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg


DOI: 10.1007/s40647-018-0226-y


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