Affective economy of national-populist images: Investigating national and transnational online networks through visual big data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Helsinki
  • Tampere University


In our article, we investigate the affective economy of national-populist image circulation on Facebook. This is highly relevant, since social media has been an essential area for the spread of national-populist ideology. In our research, we analyse image circulation as affective practice, combining qualitative and quantitative methods. We use computational data analysis methods to examine visual big data: image fingerprints and reverse image search engines to track down the routes of thousands of circulated images as well as make discourse-historical analysis on the images that have gained most attention among supporters. Our research demonstrates that these existing tools allow social science research to make theory-solid approaches to understand the role of image circulation in creating and sustaining national and transnational networks on social media, and show how national-populist thinking is spread through images that catalyse and mobilise affects - fear, anger and resentment - thus creating an effective affective economy.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1461444819868686
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Affect, affective economy, Facebook, images, image circulation, nationalism, national-populism, populism, social media, visual big data, EXTREME-RIGHT, SOCIAL MEDIA, CIRCULATION, POLITICS, TWITTER, DEATH

ID: 36792698