Julie Islin Larsen

Julie Islin Larsen's picture
University of Copenhagen, Communication

My name is Julie and I am a graduate student of rhetorics at the University of Copenhagen. I have a great interest in communication and how we affect each other with our words. Especially political communication has caught my attention. In the digitalized world that we live in, the means of communication are numerous and keep expanding. This affects our options and choices in everyday life and thereby the way institutions and politicians need to address us in order to get our attention. Therefore, I have been studying how Danish members of Parliament use selfies on their social medias as a means to mimic typicial posts of the average Danish media consumer. This is a way for the politicians to appear human, trustworthy and eventually gather votes. However, this self-staging has been a topic of discussion several times in Danish media. Many journalists, public opinion makers and common Danish voters have expressed their indignation and criticism of this obvious strategic way to gain popularity as if the Danes are not smart enough to see through it. Nevertheless, political selfies generates way more interaction than any other status updates from politicians. In my research I have tried to discover why selfies are an effective visual tool for politicians when public opinion apparently despise them. In short, it turns out that eyes attract attention and piques our curiosity. The selfie invites a contact that we feel a human need to repond to. Therefore, we are emotionally enticed to answer with a like, comment or simply our time. Since this research I have had many oppotunities to dive deeper into the field of political communication as I have started working part time at the office of the Danish Social Democratic Party in the Danish Parliament.

Fields of Interest: 
Danish politics, political communication, communication on social media, visual communication, political engagement