Emotional involvement in political talk. An analysis of emotions in Podemos’ Facebook profile during the European elections campaign 2014

Referencia bibliográfica

Sampietro, A. y Valera Ordaz, L. (2014): “Emotional involvement in political talk. An analysis of emotions in Podemos’ Facebook profile during the European elections campaign 2014”. Paper presented at the Convegno Annuale della Associazione Italiana di Comunicazione Politica. Catania, 11-13 Diciembre.


The results of the European elections 2014 in Spain were characterized by the outstanding rise of a new party, Podemos, which obtained five seats in the European Parliament, despite being founded two months ahead the election. In the present paper we intend to analyze how communication practices implemented by Podemos could have harped on the existing discontent and political disenchantment in Spain, as shown by successive surveys. The party’s campaign discourse proved to be extremely critical against traditional parties, fuelling the expression of negative emotions. Especially, this paper will focus on the emotional involvement among Podemos Facebook followers. Our intention is to observe how often users involve emotionally when discussing public issues on the party Facebook profile, as well as to evaluate if those emotions tend to reflect positive feelings towards politics (political efficacy, confidence, etc.), or rather negative views on the existing political system and its central actors (cynicism, mistrust, etc.). The expression of emotions in political discourse has been well studied (cfr. for example Wilson, 1991, Fairclough et al., 2007), especially in the field of political rhetoric. Nevertheless, the importance of emotions in citizen political talk has been less evaluated and little research has been conducted on users’ emotions expression in computer-mediated discourse politically oriented (Graham, 2010). In recent years, several studies have observed the spread of emotions though social networks. However, most of these studies use a quantitative and merely semantic approach (Kramer et al., 2014). In the present paper, a mixed approach to the study of emotional content will also be completed with a specific linguistic analysis, adopting a pragmatic approach (Caffi et al., 1998; Laflen et al., 2012). The present research will analyze a random selection of 5 posts published on Podemos’ Facebook profile and their related comments during the European election campaign in Spain (9th to 23rd May). The presence of positive and negative emotions both in the posts and in the comments will be highlighted and the emotions in the followers’ comments will be deeply analyzed. Finally, the relation between social media, political talk, emotions and their influence on political mobilization and discourse will be outlined.

  • Caffi, C., & Janney, R. (1994). Toward a pragmatics of emotive communication. Journal of Pragmatics, 22, 325–373.
  • Fairclough, N., Ardizzone, P. & Cortese, G. (2007) (Eds.). Discourse and Contemporary Social Change. Linguistic Insights: Studies in Language & Communication, Vol 54.
  • Peter Lang.Graham, T. (2010). The use of expressives in online political talk: Impeding or facilitating the normative goals of deliberation? In E. Tambouris, A. Macintosh & O. Glassey (Eds), Electronic Participation (Vol. 6229, pp. 26-41). Berlin, Germany: Springer.
  • Kramer, A.D., Guilory, J.E. & Hancock, J.T. (2014). Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 111 (24), 8788-8790.
  • Laflen, A. & Fiorenza, B. (2012). “Okay, My Rant is Over”: The Language of Emotion in Computer-Mediated Communication. Computers and Composition, 29 (4), 296-308.
  • Wilson, J. (1990). Politically Speaking. Cambridge: Blackwell.

Palabras clave

Comunicación Política, Elecciones Europeas, Redes Sociales, Sociología de las emociones, Deliberación online, Podemos


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