Symbolic Politics Meets Digital Media: Research on Political Meaning-Making

Lone Sorensen

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


The concept of performance is gaining relevance in the analysis of global political phenomena. The spectacle of modern politics, engagement with citizens as audiences, personalization and populism all speak to this trend. But a performance perspective also allows us to address the process of meaning-making at that crucial point where a disruptive optic constructs political reality and political agents engage in struggles over meaning and truth. Increasingly, this is happening through digital and hybrid forms of communication. But three key stumbling blocks are hampering our investigations. First, political communication research is confined – by theoretical and methodological limitations – to silos of media types. Second, it addresses exclusively the materiality of digital media or (more rarely) its symbolic properties, not how they inform each other. Third, an obsession with big data encourages this status quo. The author suggests that a research agenda based on the notion of political performance can overcome these hurdles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Digital Politics
EditorsWilliam H. Dutton
Place of PublicationCheltenham & Northampton
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781789903096
ISBN (Print)9781789903089
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020

Publication series

NameElgar Research Agendas
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing


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