Affective homogeneity in the Spanish general election debate. A comparative analysis of social networks political agents
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Democracy | Politics and Political Science | Social Media & Social Software
Many experts in the social sciences are studying the extent to which the agents of democratic political systems tend to strengthen their points of view to such an extent that it reduces their capacity to engage and debate with those who hold different points of view. This phenomenon, called polarization, is also present in public debate on social networks and has generated a significant number of studies and empirical research. In this context, a few noteworthy factors in the study of polarization are the concepts of ‘homophily’ and ‘homogeneity’. These terms refer to the fragmenting effect of social networks and are the consequence of the common characteristics and attributes of the members that comprise them. In this work, we analyze this phenomenon in relation with the General Elections for the Presidency of Spain and, particularly, in the case of the candidature of the political party UnidosPodemos. We used data from the Twitter social network to analyze the subjects of debate, and the affective positions in relation with each of these. We found that the most active political agents had postures that were clearly homogenized in affective terms. Finally, we discuss the polarizing effects of this homogenization.