Volume 28, Number 9 - 4 September 2023
||This month: September 2023
“Seeing” into the future: Anchoring strategies in future-oriented Twitter visuals
How do public actors visualize the future? Mediations of the future often construct audiences’ prospective actions, and offer insights into society’s imagination of desirable and undesirable futures. In the visually-saturated environment of social media, projections are often visual. Unlike their textual counterparts, future-oriented election visuals have remained understudied. This paper explores how public actors substantiate their future-oriented, multi-modal claims and the rhetorical outcomes of different strategies. Building on the notion of technologies’ “temporal affordances”, this study utilizes an inductive qualitative approach to visual rhetoric and analyze projection anchoring strategies using a sample of 400 future-oriented multi-modal tweets. Anchoring was carried out in two layers: evidential (the validity of the future-oriented narrative), and visual (the level of aesthetic realism in the image). Examining recurring patterns of anchoring strategies across the sample result in a rhetorical typology of future-oriented visuals, in two modes (consumerism and competition).
||Also this month
First-time voters and electoral campaigns: Explaining online engagement in Romania
This paper explains why young people engage politically with their preferred candidates during electoral campaigns. It uses an original survey conducted on first-time voters — as a group of heavy Internet users — in the 2019 Romanian presidential elections to identify determinants of such a behavior. Our statistical analysis argues and tests the explanatory power of three categories of determinants: importance of politics, information, and general political participation. Online engagement with a preferred candidate is an extension of young people’s regular activities on social media. It is driven by a genuine interest in what happens in politics and is the result of high levels of information. Online engagement of young people is not random, cannot be associated with boredom, and goes beyond clicktivism.