Politicians self-representation on instagram: the professional and the humanized candidate during 2019 spanish elections

Maria-Teresa Gordillo-Rodriguez, Elena Bellido-Perez


Instagram has become an important tool to contact the audiences both in commercial and political communication. Of special interest is the use of this social network by politicians, who can use the image to portray a humanized version of themselves: it is not the candidate but the person who is talking to citizens through impacting images posted on their personal profiles. The present study posits that Instagram is a key tool for self-representation. This paper offers a specific study about the use of Instagram by the five main candidates in the Spanish general elections in 2019. The main aim of this paper is to study if the Spanish candidates showed themselves on Instagram in a more humanized way during the electoral campaign. Departing from Goffman’s theory about the presentation of the self, a content analysis has been carried out as methodology, where Goffman’s concepts have been operationalized. The analysis was applied to a total of 473 Instagram posts, covering both a pre-election period and an election period. Results show that Spanish candidates tend to show themselves as professional politicians, but some candidates of new parties increment their humanization in the elections period.


Instagram; social media; political communication; elections; online self-representation; Goffman

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS15120211692

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/