#SONA2014: Social Representations of the 2014 Philippine State of the Nation Address in 140 Characters

[Speaker] Baquiano, Marshaley J:1
[Co-author] Guilaran, Johnrev B:1
1:University of the Philippines Visayas (Philippines)

This study aims to capture netizens' shared understanding of the 2014 State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III using a social representations approach. Public tweets with the hashtags #SONA and #SONA2014 posted from July 26 until July 31, 2014 were gathered and analysed using thematic analysis. Salient themes revolve around the President, his speech, and the other players, which include the physical and virtual audience. SONA is viewed as a venue for the President to showcase his accomplishments, attack his critics, and blame non-supporters of his administration. Views of his speech range from it being convincing, inspiring, boring, dramatic, to it being a pack of lies. The event is considered as an opportunity for the SONA guests to flaunt their fashion sense or the lack of it. Results strengthen the capacity and flexibility of Social Representation Theory in appreciating the dynamic, naturally-occurring interactions in cyberspace.
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