The Other Within Us – A Narrative Analysis of Self- and Other-Identification on Social Media by Actors Involved in the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Author

Summary, in English

This study examines narratives of Self- and Other-identification in social media content of actors, directly and indirectly involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The aim is to shed light on how social media can be instrumentalised as a means of constructing Self and Other in the context of ongoing conflict. The analysed actors are Ukrainian and Russian political elites, representatives from Ukrainian volunteer battalions and Russia-backed separatists. The thesis is based on the constructivist assumption that each of the actors understand and construct themselves in relation to others. Thereby, focus lies on narrative patterns in their respective social media content, and specifically on inherent processes of creating Self and Other. The findings suggest that all actors use the conflict as a point of reference when doing so and that all promote nationalistic narratives. Also, the target groups’ self-image is not always congruent with the widely accepted categories assigned to them. Finally, the results of the study indicate a need for further research into modes of Self- and Other-identification and the reproduction of narratives on social media by actors in the context of armed conflict.

Topic

  • Law and Political Science

Keywords

  • Social Media
  • Media Studies
  • Social Identity
  • Social Constructivism
  • Narratives
  • Self
  • Other
  • Eastern Europe
  • Nationalism
  • Qualitative Content Analysis
  • post-Soviet history
  • conflict studies
  • Ukraine
  • Russia
  • European Studies

Supervisor

  • Tomas Sniegon