Chapter 4. Twitter as political discourse

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This study considers how the first female Republican vice-presidential candidate in American politics, Sarah Palin, draws on stereotypes of gendered language in crafting her persona within the limitations of the Twitter platform of 140 characters. Her use of a more informal and vernacular style associated her symbolically not only with a populist message but also with the covert prestige linked to working class male speech. Palin, brought from relative obscurity as governor of Alaska, embodied a compelling combination of beauty-pageant appearance and traditional female roles of wife and mother with a brash and informal speaking style more usually associated with men. This study examines how her distinctive spoken style and political stance are translated into written tweets.


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