Are You Talking To Me? The Social-Political Visual Rhetoric of the Syrian Presidency’s Instagram Account


  • Steven Holiday The University of Alabama
  • Matthew J Lewis Brigham Young University - Idaho
  • Jack L. LaBaugh Brigham Young University - Idaho



In 2013, the Syrian presidency used Instagram to frame itself in a mediated way to two distinct audiences—one English language, and the other Arabic language. This study used Grounded Theory to examine the recurring themes of the visual rhetoric and quantitative content analysis to identify the thematic differences that were visually communicated to each audience. Results indicated statistically significant differences in the visual presentation of the rhetorical themes of patriotism and nationalism, more prevalently communicated to the English language audience, and empathy, more prevalently communicated to the Arabic language audience. The study discussed implications in media gatekeeping, socio-political communication, and reputation management.


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