Emotional Public Sphere: Polarization of Paralinguistic Internet Discourse

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Denis S. Martyanov

PhD in Political Sciences, Associate Professor at the Chair of Political Institutions and Applied Political Research, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

e-mail: dsmartyanov@mail.ru
Galina V. Lukyanova

PhD in Political Sciences, Associate Professor at the Chair of Political Institutions and Applied Political Research, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

e-mail: g.lukiyanova@spbu.ru

Section: New Media

This paper examines paralinguistic Internet discourse in the context of political communication science and sociology of emotions. Over the past years, there has been a development in studying emotions from the sociological perspective. However, political communication science and media research were not affected by this "emotional turn". At the same time, social networks show an increase in the means of emotional expression forming specific Internet discourse. The authors of the paper consider the concept of "emotional public sphere" and the role of new epistemiс communities – echo chambers, filter bubbles and safe spaces, which influence the formation of emotionally homogeneous environments. Using the methods of multidimensional scaling and network analysis, the authors examine paralinguistic Internet discourse of the politicized communities of the VK.com social network. This work reveals the special characteristics of polarization of online communities and demonstrates the models of ideological and emotional polarization of VK.com communities. Put together, these results provide important insights into the influence of the post-truth phenomenon on political communication.

Keywords: Internet discourse, paralinguistic discourse, post-truth, public sphere, public emotions, emoticon, echo chamber
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.2.2021.2548


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