Twitter, political personalities, and race consciousness: the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The thesis will discuss the racialisation process in contemporary South Africa, it builds on the argument that we are in constant exposure to ideology. Therefore, this exposure to ideology further perpetuates the racialisation process. I will outline this process by highlighting how Twitter becomes an enhancer of the racialisation process. I will apply Althusser’s concepts of ideology and draw on the theory of hailing and interpellation to draft out how ideology is disseminated on Twitter. The thesis will discuss how tweets posted on social media can influence how people view and understand racial consciousness. To be able to successfully undertake this route I will draw on Malema and Zille to highlight how these political personalities use the hailing and interpellation powers of Twitter to further the racialisation process in contemporary South Africa. Additionally, the research draws on Althusser to outline certain key features (Likes, Retweets) within Twitter that can be utilized to recruit individuals into a particular ideology. This demonstrates how these features can be applied by political personalities to interpellate/recruit individuals into their racial ideological views. The research sets out to investigate how Helen Zille and Julius Malema's Twitter usage involves the dissemination of their race consciousness. The propagation of their views is the encapsulation of ideology, and their ideologies are mass communicated to a fast and efficient platform. Twitter is a mass disseminator of information thus allowing for people to receive information quickly and there are no invisible walls that disable people from accessing the tweets. Julius Malema and Helen Zille have been under scrutiny for some of their controversial tweets about race, essentially, they help draw a picture of how race is perpetuated in society. Additionally, both individuals have different experiences of race thus their communication of race is also centred on their experiences. This also allows the research to identify how race is constant in our daily experiences and we exist as racializing subjects based on our race ideology that we are born into.