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Performative Intimacies and Political Celebritisation

Abstract

Mattias Ekman and Andreas Widholm provide fresh insights into an ongoing performative turn in political communication, arguing that the incorporation of selfies into the daily communication strategies of individual politicians entails a popularisation and celebration of political discourse. Against the background of Swedish politicians’ self-imagery on Instagram, they show that ‘performed connectivity’ has become increasingly central for political identity making online, paralleling the celebrity management of actors in the global entertainment industry. This development is problematised in terms of three performative styles that disclose strategic choices in which politicians act and interact across the increasingly blurring boundaries of the professional and the private and where symbolic connections between politicians and citizens are staged through new mediatised performances.

Keywords

  • Celebrity politics
  • Political communication
  • Performativity
  • Instagram
  • Selfies

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-45270-8_8
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Notes

  1. 1.

    The accounts are Gustav Fridolin: https://www.instagram.com/gustav_fridolin/Alice Bah Kuhnke: https://www.instagram.com/alicebahkuhnke/Rosanna Dinamarca: https://www.instagram.com/rossanadinamarca/Fredrick Federley: https://www.instagram.com/federley/Veronica Palm: https://www.instagram.com/palmveronica/Linus Bylund: https://www.instagram.com/linusbylunds/

  2. 2.

    Posted on 2 July 2015 by Alice Bah Kuhnke https://www.instagram.com/p/4nJO1TJOE3/?taken-by=alicebahkuhnke Original text: Åh jisses! Vi representerade regeringen och ‘DJ battlade’ mot alliansen. Dom bjöd på vackert motstånd MEN - vi kom, vi såg, vi SEGRADE! Om några timmar torsdagens första möte…#dansadansadansa #djbattle.

  3. 3.

    Posted on 25 September 2015 by Veronica Palm https://www.instagram.com/p/8DcWr2jQrw/?taken-by=palmveronica&hl=sv Original text: De två glada, snygga och kompetenta politiker som just nu bemannar riksdagens monter. #bokmässan

  4. 4.

    Posted on the account homepage by Alice Bah Kuhnke https://www.instagram.com/alicebahkuhnke/ Original text: Frågor besvaras via regeringen.se.

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Ekman, M., Widholm, A. (2017). Performative Intimacies and Political Celebritisation. In: Kuntsman, A. (eds) Selfie Citizenship. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-45270-8_8

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