Picture That: Canada’s 2015 Federal Campaign Through Instagram Images
Social media is changing the landscape of elections. It opens a new sphere for politicians and political parties to connect with citizens. Now more than ever before we are seeing our political leaders turning to social networking sites in order to campaign and disseminate information, and the Canadian 2015 federal election was a prime example of this. All three major party leaders took to social media as a campaign tactic, but how these leaders make use of social media images has gone relatively unexamined. In this research study I ask what are the common theme(s) evident in all three major party leaders’ Instagram feeds during the 2015 election campaign? And a sub-question derived from this asks: what sorts of latent campaign tactics are suggested by these themes? In order to answer these questions I use a mixed-method approach, both a visual content analysis and discourse analysis are employed using a small sample extrapolated from Instagram. In summation, two major themes are apparent in all three leaders’ Instagram pages: The Crowd Pleaser and The Family Man, both of which have underlining political agendas.
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