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Politics and populism across modes and media

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Edited By Ruth Breeze and Ana María Fernández Vallejo

The relationship between politics and digital media is currently a focus of intense interest: the symbiosis between the two spheres is such that political activity is now almost inseparable from media communication. However, the implications of this development are not fully understood. Digital media are a powerful tool in the hands of mainstream parties, but also make it easier than ever before for the public to express their reactions, or for new actors to enter the political arena. This volume explores the intersection between politics and new media, which involves crucial ideals, values and aspirations, such as informed democracy, citizens’ empowerment and social debate, but also negative aspects like manipulation and polarization.

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Víctor A. Meléndez: Social networks and the construction of political culture: Where are we looking from?

Social networks and the construction of political

culture: Where are we looking from?

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Víctor A. Meléndez

The emergence of social networks has transformed the social environment and, consequently, our way of living, our way of understanding reality and, certainly, our way of building it. In this sense, technological development brings elements such as speed and the notion of immediacy, which obviously affect how we interpret the social space. However, it is interesting to ask: where do we observe society from and, consequently, from what standpoint do we interpret it? For this reason, the objective of this chapter is, on the one hand, to present a theoretical model that facilitates observation from complexity and, on the other hand, to explain the relationship between social networks and political culture using Puerto Rico as an example.

In this sense, when addressing the issue of social networks and the construction of political culture, there is a set of questions that are essential. In the first place, it is necessary to ask what social networks are, what they are for and what they are used for. Secondly, it is useful to think about what political culture is, what its scope is, what its purpose is, and what its relationship with social networks is. From this basic questioning I intend to present the bases for a conceptual scheme that I have named the Social Interpretation Complex (SIC). The SIC is a scheme of theoretical organization that facilitates the ordering and understanding of social complexity based on questions addressing the links between the spheres...

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