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Polarization and moralization of politic debate in the social networks and in the streets

Abstract

This project aims to verify and analyze the process of polarization of public debate conveyed in social networks and understand its relation to the dynamics of politic mobilization in Brasil. Our hypothesis -- to be confirmed -- is that, in the past few years, the political elite (in a broad sense) underwent a moralization process and consequent polarization that some analyst call culture wars. This moralization is expressed in the emergence of moral themes in public debate (drug usage legality, naturalization of gender roles, and homoaffective relations), as well as the approach of social problems. The moralization of discourse would make political choices move from the its effects that could be evaluated in terms of liberty gains or justice to moral adherence to moral worldviews (punitive or comprehensive). Since this worldviews are not measurable, the result of this process of moralization of poblic discourse would result in a growing polarization. In order to verify this hypothesis, we intend to analyze the political discourse conveyed in social networks (Twitter and Facebook) and measure the political attitudes of protesters in the streets, trying to understand if there is a correspondence between the moralization of debate mediated in the social networks and the moralization of political mobilization. We intend to analyze the public debate in social networks in two ways: with respect to the discursive modalities adopted and with respect to the dynamics of interactions. We will measure to degree of polarization of the graph formed by relevant publication in Facebook and Twitter linked by the users that retweeted or liked the same post using established metrics such as the degree of modularization. Furthermore, we intend to apply forms to protesters to measure their political attitudes with respect to moral issues and moral approach to social issues. Our hypothesis is that culture wars lead to the polarization of political debate which contributed to the process of antagonistic mobilization where there is little space for resolution and political articulation of differences. (AU)

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