The populist rhetoric of individual political actors on social media: Revealing an elitist aspect

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

What makes politicians use populist rhetoric on social media? While previous studies tended to focus on the relationship between populist rhetoric and party affiliation, this study adopts an actor-based approach to populism. Using a sample of 3,024 posts from the Facebook pages of Israeli politicians, we show that, contrary to the expectations, populist rhetoric is not associated with a lower political status nor with preference toward representation from below. Rather, we find that it is more common on Facebook among politicians with higher social status, and actors who perceive their representational role as trustees. The article thus highlights the elitist angle of populism.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPopulist Political Communication Across Europe
Subtitle of host publicationContexts and Contents
Pages153-174
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783631841334
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Personalization
  • Political status
  • Populist political communication
  • Representational role perception

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences

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