‘Polarization’ is a common diagnosis of the state of contemporary societies and has also become a buzzword in social science research. Yet, many studies fail to define the concept at all or use different conceptualizations of what polarization means. We argue that it is crucial to pay attention to the communicative processes that indicate and drive the emergence of polarized attitudes:
Large steps have been made in this direction during the last decade, as digital networks and, surprisingly less so, journalism have been increasingly explored as both drivers and arenas of polarization. This is where we strive to make a conceptual contribution by introducing an analytical framework to explore how discursive polarization is disrupting the public sphere..
We apply our framework within varying empirical analyses and research projects to expose how societal polarization emerges in a wide variety of public mediated discourses that (re-)produce polarizing content, imaginations, and communication structures.
- Duration: 2022-2025
- Project lead: Prof. Dr. Michael Brüggemann
- Sponsor: Universität Hamburg