Democracy, Screens, Identity, and Social Networks: The Case of Donald Trump’s Election

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The unexpected election of Donald Trump as the new U.S. president is situated in a complex and unprecedented intersection of ideas regarding democracy, identity, and social networks, all against the background of the omnipresent and cultural centrality of the digital screen. In this article, we will try to analyze these links through the concept of the paraphragmatic screen, an unusual term from the Greek that is found in Plato’s famous myth of the cave. Our thesis is that the paraphragmatic screen that hosts social networks is not merely interactive. It is also a porous surface that no longer serves only to communicate in the traditional sense but also for senders and receivers to negotiate what is and is not real or true. Using it changes the rules of the game for political communication and even for politics itself while it also generates new types of negotiable identities, as much at the individual level as at the collective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-334
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • 2016 U.S. elections
  • Donald Trump
  • identity
  • political communication
  • social networks


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