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ECPR Journals Virtual Special Issue

Facebook as a Site of Resistance and Opposition: Conservative Performances of Gender by Women Politicians in Hungary and Romania

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Social Media
Comparative Perspective
Political Ideology
Ov Cristian Norocel
Lunds Universitet
Ov Cristian Norocel
Lunds Universitet

Social networking sites are becoming important loci for political competition and Facebook is by far the largest and most influential such site. The unmediated quality of communication specific to social networking sites is singled out to provide authenticity in the relationship between politicians and voters. Having in mind the conflict between conservative views about gender roles and motherhood with political and economic realities, the present study analyzes how women politicians in Hungary and Romania negotiate ideological beliefs about gender roles with their interests in promoting their political career through Facebook, which allow them to personalize the performance of a perceivably authentic gendered political identity.

Our comparative study concentrates on four women politicians on the right-wing conservative ideological continuum, which stretches from the center-right to radical right populism: Pelczné Gáll Ildikó (Fidesz) and Dúró Dóra (Jobbik) in Hungary, respectively Elena Udrea (PMP) and Monica Macovei (M10) in Romania. The time frame of our analysis stretches over a year (January 1 - December 31 2014), covering both the local and EU elections in Hungary, and the EU and presidential elections in Romania. The study draws on the Butlerian conceptions of performativity, citationality and interpellation, in order to explore the construction of gendered political identities and self-representations through Facebook.

The aim of the study is, on the one hand, to come closer to providing a comprehensive analysis of the link between gender, right-wing conservative ideological continuum and social networking sites communication logic. The study also aims, on the other hand, to illustrate in a comparative framework the right-wing conservative ideological continuum and to evince the means of performing one’s gendered identity in politics.
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