Anger, Fear and Extreme Polarization in Italian Political Discourse: A Multimodal Study of the Tweets by Matteo Salvini and his Supporters during the European Elections
Chapter from the book: Roitman, M et al. 2023. The New Challenges of Populist Discourses in Romance Speaking Countries.
The presence of extreme polarization in political communication on social media has recently attained disruptive dimensions, especially in conjunction with populist propaganda. The dynamics of negative oppositional discourse, however, seem to escape all categorization, especially when it comes to quantifying its relevance along the left–right ideological axis. The study contributes to better understanding the phenomenon through the appraisal and emotion analysis of a sample of tweets by Matteo Salvini, leader of the Italian right-wing populist party Lega, and of his supporters’ comments during the European elections of 2019. By including visual and textual resources, the analysis accounts for the intrinsic multimodality of social media.