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ME, YOU, And US: Constructing political persona on social networks during the 2015 UK General Election

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bethany UsherORCiD



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


This article offers statistical and discourse analysis of political leaders’ profile pages during the 2015 UK General Election ‘short campaign’ as a means to better understand the construction of political persona on Social Network Sites (SNS). It examines this as a group production and promotional activity that variously used patterns and routines of both traditional and digital media to display leaders as party branded selves. Performances strived for balance between authority and authenticity, using the political self as a spectacle to direct microelectorates to specific actions. This study demonstrates how self-storytelling is shaped by the coded conventions or “house rules” of SNS, which are viewed as inescapable institutions for maintaining public visibility. It examines how linguistic and visual elements, linked to different political ideologies, chimed with Twitter and Facebook users and looks to the impact on political campaigning.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Usher BRW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Persona Studies

Year: 2016

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Pages: 19-41

Print publication date: 01/12/2016

Online publication date: 01/12/2016

Acceptance date: 01/11/2016

Date deposited: 12/03/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2205-5258

Publisher: Deakin University


DOI: 10.21153/ps2016vol2no2art608


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