Doctoral thesis from SCANPUB: Ida Andersen’s “Instead of the deliberative debate”

Congratulations to researcher Ida Vikøren Andersen on her doctoral thesis Instead of the deliberative debate: How the principle of expression plays out in the news-generated Facebook discussion!

The study explores rethorical strategies in social media immigration debate, and offers new ways to describe the scope and functions of public debates in digital environments. By introducing the “principle of expression”, Andersen finds a way to describe particular characteristics of these debates. The dissertation enables us to better understand why and when these arenas fail to facilitate argumentation, as well as giving valuable insights into the dynamic of the hostility and aggressive tone that often charactarize these debates.

From the abstract:

Social media have become an integrated part of people’s lives and are important communication channels, utilised both for personal communication and public debate. Several studies and theories suggest how the advent of social media impacts the public sphere and the rhetoric embedded in it. Still, we have limited knowledge about how the social network site Facebook facilitates and is utilised for public debate. This study explores utterances and modes of interaction, as well as the contextual frames that make possible and constrain these, in the news-generated social media debates about immigration in the three Scandinavian nations. The study asks the question: What characterises the rhetorical strategies in the news-generated social media debates about the immigration issue? The dissertation is a contribution to the already vast and rapidly growing literature that examines digital technology’s influence on political debate and the public sphere.

Ida Andersen is now postdoctoral fellow at LINGCLIM, Department of Foreign Languages at The University of Bergen.

Read the full dissertation here, or at Bergen Open Research Archive.