The Salience of Traditional Moral Values: Bolsonaro’s Electoral Competition Strategy on Twitter

Sylvia Iasulaitis, Isabella Vicari


This article analyzes the electoral competition strategy adopted by the Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro on Twitter, supported by the saliency theory – where candidates compete by emphasizing different topics and selecting issues from a universal agenda to focus the campaign’s attention and efforts. The salience Bolsonaro’s winning campaign attributed to values during the 2018 presidential election. Values are attitudinal guidelines related to different social, religious, economic, and political concepts, covering various topics on views about what is desirable or undesirable in a society. The study used content analysis to explore and categorize a corpus of 809 tweets posted in the account @jairbolsonaro. The data was mined by applying computational intelligence methods and using the public API and the Python Twint library. Four dimensions of cultural variance found in the World Values Survey were used to establish the categories: traditional values, rational-secular values, survival values, and self-expression values. The results show that the content of Bolsonaro’s electoral competition strategy was based on traditional moral values and the campaign’s format was developed primarily via social media.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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