A Dynamic Perspective on Publics and Counterpublics: The Role of the Blogosphere in Pushing the Issue of Climate Change During the 2016 US Presidential Campaign
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Climate change was hardly debated during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Against this background and building upon Fraser's concept of counterpublics (1990), this paper examines whether climate change advocates used the English-speaking blogosphere to push their positions forward. This study uses blog data starting from the Republican nomination of Donald Trump (20 July 2016) to Election Day (8 November 2016) and applies a computerized classification algorithm and topic-modeling techniques to explore, first, the salience of skeptic and advocate positions toward climate change in the English-speaking blogosphere and, second, with which topics these positions are most connected. The results show that the positions and topics of climate change advocates were more salient online than those of climate-change skeptics during the 2016 US presidential campaign. Thus, the study shows that the relation between different publics in societal discourses is not static but may change dynamically over time.
Under embargo until: 2020-11-15