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Rhetorical construction of political leadership in social media
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Academy of Public Administration.
Stockholm School of Economics.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 30, no 3, 299-311 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze how political leaders can rhetorically use social media to construct their leadership, with a special focus on character – rhetorical ethos. Design/methodology/approach: The authors used a qualitative case study which consisted of two political leaders’ activities on Twitter. The leaders were chosen on the basis of similarity – both foreign ministers in Scandinavian countries and early adapters to ICT. All tweets, including photos, for selected period were analyzed qualitatively with the classical rhetorical concept of ethos. Findings: Social media is the virtual square for political leadership. The two political leaders studied use social media similarly for rhetorical means and aims, with ethos as rhetorical strategy. The rhetorical ethos they constructed differs radically though: busy diplomat vs a super-social Iron man. There is no single constructed ethos that political leaders aim for. Research limitations/implications: Even though this is just one qualitative case study, it shows a variety of rhetorical means and constructs of ethos in political leadership. Practical implications: The study shows a possibility for political leaders to construct their own image and character through social media, for a potentially large audience of voters, without being filtered by political parties or media. Originality/value: This study contributes to the evolving area of rhetoric in leadership/management and it adds to knowledge about how political leaders use social media.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 30, no 3, 299-311 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethos, Leadership, Politics, Rhetoric, Social media
National Category
Political Science Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-32633DOI: 10.1108/JOCM-10-2016-0204ISI: 000402936800003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85018743208OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-32633DiVA: diva2:1098970
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29 Last updated: 2017-06-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf