ERMeCC Lunch Seminar

Start date

Thursday 20 Feb 2020, 12:00

End date

Thursday 20 Feb 2020, 13:00


On 20 February there will be an ERMeCC Lunch Seminar in T3-36 from 12:00 to 13:00. Please feel free to bring your lunch and comments! In turn, we will provide intellectual stimulation by presenting the research detailed below.

Citizens exposed to dissimilar views in the media: investigating backfire effects
By João Gonçalves

Affective polarization, or the extent to which partisans treat each other as a disliked outgroup, has become one of the key challenges of the twenty first century. Since the 1990s, the animosity between people who identify with opposing political parties has been on the rise in consolidated and more recent democracies. Most work on this topic comes from the U.S., a two-party system that has a clear-cut distinction between a partisan in-group and out-group. However, most other countries, including the majority of Western democracies, are multiparty systems, where partisan in- and out-groups are not structured around a dichotomy between opposing sides, strategic voting is common, and partisan volatility is greater. Also, few studies offer systematic causal models of the effects of media use in naturalistic settings. Experiments cannot generalize to the “real world,” where people can access unlimited media content and where exposure effects can be cumulative overtime.

This project addresses these gaps. It relies on a 3-country (U.S., Netherlands, and Poland) design that combines longitudinal surveys with behavioral trace data to offer three theoretical and methodological contributions to the literature on affective polarization and media effects. We explore whether divides along partisan lines are greater than those around ideological lines, and those based on disagreements around salient public policies. In short, we offer a systematic causal model of media effects on affective polarization in three countries. 

Twitter users applaud, journalists critique: The #NazisRaus debate in German media
Dr. Giuliana Sorce, Institute of Media Studies, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

When German broadcast journalist Nicole Diekmann tweeted “Nazis out,” she launched a large cultural discussion in the German Twittersphere—the hashtag #NazisRaus began to trend, prompting politicians, celebrities, and other journalists to partake. This paper addresses the mediatization of the #NazisRaus debate in German media by comparing the discourses of Diekmann’s tweet in user-generated responses as opposed to its journalistic coverage. Through qualitative content analysis of both the original responses (@replies) to the “Nazis out” tweet and the media coverage of the controversy, this analysis yields that user-generated content was overwhelmingly positive, with many users commending Diekmann for taking a stance against growing right-wing culture in Germany. Diekmann’s original tweet stimulated discussions about the message itself, its social acceptability, and feasibility. Twitter users in the discussion showed both solidarity and hatred towards Diekmann, often in association with her intersectional identity as a female journalist. The media reports tended to highlight the aggression and hate-speech, while maintaining an overall critical stance towards Diekmann’s post. Though journalists condemned right-wing hate-speech, they were also quick to reprimand Diekmann (in her role as a media professional) for engaging in such activism, which provides insights about the values of journalist in Germany.