Ana Carolina Vimieiro is a PhD Candidate in Journalism, Media and Communication at QUT. She holds a BSc. (Hons) in Journalism and a Master's degree in Social Communication from Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). She worked as a journalist in Brazil and gave lectures in undergraduate courses. Her Master's thesis, which investigated historical transformations in public discourses about people with disability in the last 50 years in Brazil, is an award-winning work (Brazilian Association of Journalism Researchers/2011). She has published papers about methodological innovations, frame analysis, public culture, public debates on media, and critical theory. Her empirical topics of interest include sport, health, and food politics.
This research intends to investigate how ordinary people talk about everyday politics on Twitter. The underlying assumption here is that the public culture is fundamental for the process whereby society perceives reality and makes sense of political topics. Traditionally, mainstream media has played an important role in this process, actively shaping the public culture. However, as the phenomenon of the Arab Spring recently called attention to, social media conversations can potentially challenge traditional mainstream media modes of reporting political themes – and with democratic results, in this specific case. So, social media interactions are an important part of the contemporary public culture. In this scenario, comprehending how ordinary citizens talk about politics on these platforms is crucial once other researches have associated dominant frames in the public culture to the way matters are addressed by public policies – centre and peripheral spheres of the political system are interrelated in this perspective.
Internet researchers have analysed topics, arguments, and sentiments expressed on digital interactions. Nevertheless, identifying points of view, bias, and values – more implicit symbolic devices – is currently a challenge in this field. Furthermore, most studies that analyse political content on Twitter investigate traditional political subjects, such as elections, political scandals, and party disputes – or political uprisings like the Arab Spring. A small part of those enquiries are constituted by political topics that are more related to ordinary people's everyday life such as urban violence, traffic, and public transport. In this sense, framing theory offers a comprehensive theoretical and methodological approach to analyse how different perspectives arise from ordinary interactions. Specifically, this enquiry will analyse two distinct and relatively trending subjects on Twitter: discussions about football politics in Brazil, and conversations about farming and food politics in Australia.