Home / Regular Issue / JSSH Vol. 29 (3) Sep. 2021 / JSSH-8136-2021

 

Using Online Platforms for Political Communication in Bahrain Election Campaigns

Mokhtar Elareshi, Mohammed Habes, Sana Ali and Abdulkrim Ziani

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.3.28

Keywords: Election campaigns, female political candidates, political communication, political interaction, Twitter

Published on: 27 September 2021

The rise of SNS facilitated politicians with new opportunities to communicate directly with voters. Especially during election campaigns. Twitter provides female politicians with a space to exercise their political tasks beyond traditional media, especially in some Arab countries. Based on the framing theory, this study aims to identify how the female politicians in Bahrain utilised Twitter to present themselves for Parliamentary election campaigns in 2018. The researchers scrutinised the phenomenon using a thematic analysis of n = 263 tweets posted by two Bahraini female candidates. Results revealed that although politicians largely preferred Twitter in election campaigns to reinforce support and mobilisation for political engagement, two selected candidates lacked interaction with their supporters. Thus, the researchers concluded that the Bahraini female politicians have a long way to represent themselves in digital media politics as men widely benefit from personalisation more than females.

  • Ahmed, S., Cho, J., & Jaidka, K. (2019). Framing social conflicts in news coverage and social media: A multicountry comparative study. International Communication Gazette, 81(4), 346-371. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748048518775000

  • Ahmed, S., Jaidka, K., & Cho, J. (2016). The 2014 Indian elections on Twitter: A comparison of campaign strategies of political parties. Telematics and Informatics, 33(4), 1071–1087. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2016.03.002

  • Aljishi, B. J. (2018). Reforms and political participation of women in the kingdom of Bahrain. Turkish Policy Quarterly, 11(4), 55-67.

  • AlSalem, F. (2016). Women and online political participation in Kuwait. In B. Gunter, M. Elareshi, & K. Al-Jaber (Eds.), Social media in the Arab world: Communication and public opinion in the Gulf States (pp. 135-155). I. B. Tauris.

  • Ardèvol-Abreu, A. (2015). Framing theory in communication research: Origins, development and current situation in Spain. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 70, 423-450. https://doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2015-1053en

  • Arowolo, S. O. (2017). Understanding framing theory. Mass Communication Theory, 3(6), 4. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.25800.52482

  • Bateson, G. (1972). A theory of play and fantasy. In I. Caro & C. Read (Eds.), General semantics in psychotherapy (pp. 267-289). Institute of General Semantics.

  • Bossetta, M. (2018). The digital architectures of social media: Comparing political campaigning on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat in the 2016 US election. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 95(2), 471-496.

  • Bostanci, M. (2019). DİJİTAAkti̇vi̇zm: Sendi̇kaci kadinlarin sosyal medya kullanimi [DİJİTAAkti̇vi̇zm: Social media usage of syndicate women]. Turkish Studies-Social Sciences, 14(5), 2085-2096. https://doi.org/10.29228/turkishstudies.32686

  • Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

  • Calderaro, A. (2018). Social media and politics. In W. Outhwaite & S. Turner (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of political sociology (pp. 781-795). Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Carroll, S., & Fox, R. (2014). Introduction. In S. Carroll & R. Fox (Eds.), Gender and elections: Shaping the future of American politics (3rd ed., pp. 1-15). Cambridge University Press.

  • Coelho, P. M. F., Correia, P. A. P., & Medina, I. G. (2017). Social media: A new way of public and political communication in digital media. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies, 11(6), 150-157. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v11i6.6876

  • Elareshi, M., & Ziani, A. (2019). Digital and interactive social media among Middle East women: Empirical TAM study. Media Watch, 10(2), 235-250. https://doi.org/10.15655/mw/2019/v10i2/49642

  • Entman, R. (1993). Framing: Towards clarification of a fractured paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4), 51-58.

  • Evans, H. K., & Clark, J. H. (2016). “You tweet like a girl!”: How female candidates campaign on Twitter. American Politics Research, 44(2), 326-352. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532673X15597747

  • Filimonov, K., Russmann, U., & Svensson, J. (2016). Picturing the party: Instagram and party campaigning in the 2014 Swedish elections. Social Media and Society, 2(3), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305116662179

  • Fountain, M. (2017). Social media and its effects in politics: The factors that influence social media use for political news and social media use influencing political participation [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. The Ohio State University.

  • Fountaine, S. (2017). What’s not to like?: A qualitative study of young women politicians’ self-framing on Twitter. Journal of Public Relations Research, 29(5), 219-237. https://doi.org/10.1080/1062726X.2017.1388239

  • Golbeck, J., Grimes, J. M., & Rogers, A. (2010). Twitter use by the US congress. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 61(8), 1612-1621. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.21344

  • Golden, E. (2018, November 7). Ilhan Omar makes history, becoming first Somali-American elected to U.S. House. Star Tribune. http://www.startribune.com/ilhan-omar-becomes-first-somali-american-elected-u-s-house/499708271/

  • Hečková, A. C. (2016). Media negativism as a tool of political communication. European Journal of Science and Theology, 12(1), 147-154.

  • Hemphill, L., Culotta, A., & Heston, M. (2013). Framing in social media: How the US congress uses Twitter hashtags to frame political issues. SSRN. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2317335

  • Herrnson, P. S., Lay, J. C., Stokes, A. K., Herrnson, P. S., & Lay, J. C. (2003). Women running “as women”: Campaign issues, and voter-targeting strategies. The Journal of Politics, 65(1), 244–255.

  • Jiménez, O. F. D. (2017). Election campaigns, the media and their impact on civic engagement of Mexicans in the 2012 Presidential Election. Comunicación y Sociedad, (29), 139-164. https://doi.org/10.32870/cys.v0i29.6302

  • Karlsen, R., & Enjolras, B. (2016). Styles of social media campaigning and influence in a hybrid political communication system: Linking candidate survey data with Twitter data. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 21(3), 338-357. https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161216645335

  • Karolak, M. (2013). Social media and the Arab Spring: Searching for emerging identities in the Arab Gulf. St Antony’s International Review, 9(1), 168-184.

  • Kruikemeier, S. (2014). How political candidates use Twitter and the impact on votes. Computer in Human Behavior, 34, 131-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.025

  • Lin, L. C.-S. (2016). Convergence in election campaigns. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 22(2), 199-214. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856514545706

  • McGregor, S., & Mourao, R. (2016). Talking politics on Twitter: Gender, elections, and social networks. Social Media + Society, 2(3), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305116664218

  • Meeks, L. (2016). Gendered styles, gendered differences: Candidates’ use of personalization and interactivity on Twitter. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 13(4), 295-310. https://doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2016.1160268

  • Methi, V. (2014). Political communication in digital age – Social media analysis. Social Networking Media: Boon or Ban, 33-36.

  • Muñiz, C., Saldierna, A. R., & De Jesús Marañón, F. (2018). Framing of electoral processes: The stages of the campaign as a moderator of the presence of political frames in the news. Palabra Clave, 21(3), 740-771. https://doi.org/10.5294/pacla.2018.21.3.5

  • O’Malley, E., Brandenburg, H., Flynn, R., McMenamin, I., & Rafter, K. (2012, December). Explaining media framing of election coverage: Bringing in the political context. Avaliable at SSRN. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189468

  • OpCit Research. (2013). Women in decision-making: The role of the new media for increased political participation. Policy Department C. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2013/493010/IPOL-FEMM_ET(2013)493010_EN.pdf

  • Pan, Z., & Koskcki, G. M. (1993). Framing analysis: An approach to news discourse. Political Communication, 10(1), 55-75.

  • Rempoutzakos, F. (2017). Framing theory in newspaper coverage of the 2015 Greek referendum. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 8(2), 6-15.

  • Sahly, A., Shao, C., & Kwon, K. H. (2019). Social media for political campaigns: An examination of Trump’s and Clinton’s frame building and its effect on audience engagement. Social Media + Society, 5(2), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305119855141

  • Saillard, E. K. (2011). View of systematic versus interpretive analysis with two CAQDAS packages: NVivo and MAXQDA. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1), 34. https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-12.1.1518

  • Salih, M., Al Sammaraie, H., & Sharifah, S. (2013). Woman political representation and participation in Arab Spring: Motivations, aspirations and concerns. Journal of Administrative Science, 10(2), 41-52.

  • Saraswati, M. S. (2018). Social media and the political campaign industry in Indonesia. Jurnal Komunikasi Ikatan Sarjana Komunikasi Indonesia, 3(1), 51-65. https://doi.org/10.25008/jkiski.v3i1.124

  • Scheufele, D. A. (1999). Framing as a theory of media effects. Journal of Communication, 49(1), 103-122. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1999.tb02784.x

  • Shalaby, M. M. (2018). Women’s representation in the Middle East and North Africa: A conceptual framework. Oxford Bibliographies. https://doi.org/10.1093/OBO/9780199756223-0252

  • Shami, S., & Ashfaq, A. (2018). Strategic political communication, public relations, reputation management & relationship cultivation through social media. Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan, 2(55), 139-154.

  • Sreberny, A. (2015). Women’s digital activism in a changing Middle East. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 47(2), 357-361. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020743815000112

  • Stieglitz, S., & Dang-Xuan, L. (2013). Social media and political communication: A social media analytics framework. Social Network Analysis and Mining, 3(4), 1277-1291. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13278-012-0079-3

  • Stier, S., Bleier, A., Lietz, H., & Strohmaier, M. (2018). Election campaigning on social media: Politicians, audiences, and the mediation of political communication on Facebook and Twitter. Political Communication, 35(1), 50-74. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2017.1334728

  • Strömbäck, J., & van Aelst, P. (2010). Exploring some antecedents of the media’s framing of election news: A comparison of Swedish and Belgian election news. International Journal of Press/Politics, 15(1), 41-59. https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161209351004

  • Suiter, J. (2015). Political campaigns and social media: A study of #mhe13 in Ireland. Irish Political Studies, 30(2), 299-309. https://doi.org/10.1080/07907184.2015.1018899

  • Turnšek, M., & Jankowski, N. W. (2012). Social media and politics: Theoretical and methodological considerations in designing a study of political engagement. SSRN. https://ssrn.com/abstract=1629098

  • Winfrey, K. L., & Schnoebelen, J. M. (2019). Running as a woman (or man): A review of research on political communicators and gender stereotypes. Review of Communication Research, 7, 109-138. https://doi.org/10.12840/ISSN.2255-4165.020

  • Youssef, E. (2020). Role of social service institutions on social empowerment of women at the United Arab Emirates: A field analysis study. Multicultural Education, 6(4), 99-111. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4252122

  • Yunus, E. (2013). The role of socıal medıa in creatıng polıtıcal awareness and mobılızıng polıtıcal protests: A focus on Turkey [Unpublished Master’s dissertation]. Royal Institute of Technology.

  • Zhang, N. Y., & Song, C. Y. (2018). The role of social media in political campaigns: A sentiment and engagement analysis of political news feeds and Facebook comments in three political events in Hong Kong. The Internet, Policy & Politics Conference, 1-16.

  • Ziani, A. K., Fahmy, S., Al-Jaber, K., & Elareshi, M. (2014). Young adults’ perceptions of satellite TV news services in Bahrain. Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research, 7(1), 3-20. https://doi.org/10.1386/jammr.7.1.3_1

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID

JSSH-8136-2021

Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles