University of Twente Student Theses


The role of emotion in online political communication in times of Covid-19 : Study of a Dutch case

Jong, J. de (2022) The role of emotion in online political communication in times of Covid-19 : Study of a Dutch case.

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Abstract:In this study, a case study approach is employed to investigate the role of emotions in political communication on Twitter during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study focuses on the political communication of Dutch politicians on Twitter, including Sigrid Kaag, Mark Rutte, Thierry Baudet and Geert Wilders. Literature on emotions during the pandemic indicates that there may exist a heightened state of emotion on Twitter. Therefore, this research examines differences in emotionality, by comparing tweets from periods before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, this study investigates whether or not any differences arise between emotionality in tweets by political actors who are considered populist and those who are considered non populists. Additionally, as the literature indicates that populists are more emotional in their communications, the study assesses whether the pandemic may have had a disproportionate effect on the emotionality in tweets of populist actors. The results of the analysis indicate that the pandemic has in fact made the political discourse on Twitter more emotional, although this increase varies greatly from actor to actor. The results show no indication that populists are more emotional than their non-populist counterparts, and no disproportionate effect of the pandemic on emotionality in populist political communication.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 71 sociology, 89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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