Social media and political campaigning in India

Yadav, R 2018, Social media and political campaigning in India , MPhil thesis, University of Salford.

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The concept of personalisation in politics has been well researched, where the candidate as an individual becomes more important to the electorate than the political party or affiliated policies. Personalisation as a concept has always existed in politics but, what is new is the mediation of newer communication technology. Henceforth, the candidate connects directly to the electorate through the new communication and networking technologies.

The electorate was unsatisfied in the past with unidirectional communication through traditional media (TV, newspaper) that did not allow them to ask questions or to share their own opinion. The online social media allowed this interaction, and therefore the political candidates used this available popular space for self-promotion. This research looks at the ways in which online social media has affected the phenomenon of personalisation by studying the 2014 general elections in India. The data was collected through, semi-structured personal interviews with political leaders and their social media strategy team, while also studying their Twitter account feed over a period before the elections in 2014.

The results show that for the first time in the history of Indian general election, political leaders used social media channels such as Twitter successfully towards ‘personalisation’ in the political campaign. Although the proportion of active social media users among the voting population was relatively small, this group of voters had significant influence over the opinions of those who were not online, just by the power of information and connectivity. The results of this study will increase the understanding of the effect of social media in political campaigning, and also help new studies in understanding social media as a space, and the strategies that can be used especially by individuals and organisations to reach their target audience.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: RICHA Yadav
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 12:37
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 23:39

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