A Rhetorical Analysis of Virtual Visual Communication on Facebook on Euro-Atlanticism

DOI 10.55206/LIFX7557

Desislava Antova

Institute of Rhetoric and Communications

Email: antova.desy@gmail.com

Abstract: Discussions and debates on Euro-Atlanticism are taking place in Bulgarian society and in particular in the social network Facebook, and they are being realized on a verbal and visual level. Virtual communication has many manifestations and some of them are posters, memes, parodies and paraphrases; others are copies of slogans and posters from rallies and demonstrations, which are perceived as part of the manifestations of different opinions in civil society in Bulgaria. The article investigates these particular manifestations through a rhetorical analysis that is an adapted version of established methods. The corpus was collected over a one-year period from March 2022 to March 2023 and is heterogeneous in nature precisely because of the specificity of the objects: verbal messages, visual images, election posters, political platforms, media statements, etc. The assumption is that there is no unanimous opinion in Bulgarian society about Euro-Atlanticism, the assumption being that there is skepticism about Bulgaria’s EU and NATO memberships in some groups in society. The rhetorical analysis, focused on the derivation of the messages at the verbal and visual level, their effects in a specific political context and in a pre-electoral campaign and situation, provides opportunities to identify some manifestations of Euroscepticism in a virtual environment. The analysis does not claim to be exhaustive, but to present results based on a study in a virtual environment in Bulgaria of the differences on Euroscepticism in different political parties in Bulgaria.

Keywords: rhetoric, rhetorical analysis, virtual visual communication, Euroscepticism, Facebook.

Rhetoric and Communications Journal, issue 55, April 2023

Read the Original in Bulgarian