#DabOfShame: You dance, We die - Kenya’s Twitter resistance to the electoral agenda.

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#DabOfShame: You dance, We die - Kenya’s Twitter resistance to the electoral agenda.

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: #DabOfShame: You dance, We die - Kenya’s Twitter resistance to the electoral agenda.
Author: Marty, Edwige Philippine
Issue Date: 2017-09-01
Keywords: Twitter, Social Media, Politics, Frame analysis, Narrative agency, Kenya, election
Abstract: In the context of the upcoming elections in Kenya in August 2017, debates on Twitter have highlighted the gap between the political elite’s electoral agenda and the population’s daily struggles of surviving and coping with harsh realities. Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta, recently launched an online campaign calling for voters registration – #UhuruDabChallenge – which was met with fierce protestations online, formalised under the #DabOfShame. This thesis will analyse the framing of this clash of priorities on Twitter by looking at the spread and use of one hashtag in particular – #DabOfShame – and one of the subtheme the #KOT community highlighted, that is the country’s hunger and drought crises. Indeed, analysing the #DabOfShame highlights the gap between the state discourse and the subsequent online responses, which has a huge impact on the way pertaining daily issues and their realities are depicted online. In particular, looking at Kenya’s most salient and recurrent difficulties – the hunger and drought crises – pinpoints how the users shed light on the problems, thus “framing” an opposition of concerns, and pushing the political elite to address them. Interestingly, the users and content analysis of this specific hashtag give insights into the political socialisation processes that Twitter enables and the platform it provides for the Kenyan connected generation to express its grievances in the everyday context. Eventually, this can inform discussions on the possibility of social media to influence the government’s agenda and produce a united common front in a context of political polarisation. This, however, also reveals concerning trends in the way Twitter is used by the political elite in Kenya, in particular by its president, which suggests that social media are possibly developing into new podiums on which political legitimacy is fought and gained.
Supervisor: De Goede, Meike
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Studies (Bachelor)
Specialisation: Africa
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/50323

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