Battle in Twitter: Comparative Analysis of Online Political Discourse (Cases of Macron, Trump, Putin, and Medvedev)
This case study is an example of interdisciplinary research, which couples the linguistic aspects with the study of public political discourse in social media. The purpose of the study is to identify how “realism” terms and national/global agenda are represented in Twitter discourse of leaders of countries which claim to be global powers today. Obviously, it is impossible to claim a high status in the modern world without participation in global discussions (including the level of influence on public opinion in Twitter). We collect data from official accounts of the U.S. President Donald Trump, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Then we propose a research method developed by us which contains 5 stages. The main method of research is traditional content analysis, not only selective (under this or that theory), but also “front-line” one. We are interested in the subject matter (key, most frequent vocabulary) that dominates the considered texts. We separate the same amounts of text (approximately 33 000 words) in the content of the Twitter pages of Trump, Macron, Putin and Medvedev. Then we quantify the words and identify the key concepts which are specific for political realism and political idealism. We perform a “frontal” general analysis of all the most frequently used concepts. We make a quantitative assessment of the nature of the use of political leaders’ key concepts (this stage of analysis is divided on several sub-stages). Finally we compare the frequency of concepts’ use by leaders of the West and Russia.
Putin-Medvedev pair has obvious coincidences with Trump at the external level, but a significant divergence in the base level, i.e. this is another picture of the world, another choice of subjects, in contrast to Trump-Macron pair. Russian leaders are focused on domestic problems of the country. Global agenda is not sufficiently represented in Twitter accounts of Russian leaders. Trump and Macron discuss common (global) themes herewith they have different ideological preferences.
KeywordsTwitter Social media Political discourse Content analysis Comparative analysis
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