Master's thesis presentation
Master candidate Junai Mtchedlidze will present her thesis:
A discourse analysis of war representation on Twitter by civilian actors.
A case of the Gaza-Israel war in 2014.
The news reportage about the Palestine-Israel war in 2014 disseminated not only across newspaper pages and television screens, but through social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. An important social media platform during the Palestine - Israel war of 2014 was the Twitter, which has been referred as the symbol of political and social activism online, coming to prominence in the so-called “Arab Spring movements” or “Twitter Revolutions” in Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, and many others (Dean, 2010; Howard et al., 2011; Papacharissi, 2015). Twitter use during the Palestine - Israel war of 2014 enabled civilian actors to participate in dissemination of the real-time information, to gain support from foreign audiences and bypass gatekeeping processes (Beckerman, 2014; Rodley, 2016). The major transformation of human interaction and communication technologies, specifically the emergence of the Web 2.0 made possible to create user-generated content and exchange it to wider audiences” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
This qualitative study takes up the question of how civilian actors participate in the news dissemination process by examining their status updates on the Twitter. Drawing on the most “retweeted” and “liked” updates on the Twitter collected during the period of war actions (Siapera, et al., 2014) user metadata is analyzed qualitatively in order to make sense of emerging discourses on the platform. Approximately 10 000 tweets sent by the four, most active users are analyzed. A methodological framework of discourse analysis is employed. The findings of research are discussed in the light of theoretical and conceptual framework of power and discourse (Foucault, 1972, 1979) and the theory of affordances (Gibson, 1986 ) as action possibilities enabled by social media. Furthermore, I discuss the findings of discourse analysis under the light of democratization process and its implications on power relations between different groups of society enabled by social media platforms.
The primary data for this master’s thesis were gathered for three weeks period, from 6th of July to 26th if July during the Gaza-Israel war in 2014. Nearly 9 000 tweets from the four most active users were collected and analyzed by analytical framework of discourse analysis. Discourse analysis was employed in order to better understand the representation of the warfare by civilians, social phenomenon at hand.
From time period of 06.07.2014-26.07.2014. Total of 8672 tweets from four civilian actors.
@Palestianism: 2317 tweets
@ iFalasteen: 1919 tweets
@ThisIsGaza: 1745 tweets