Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Popescu, Mihaela


This study explores the construction of the Indonesian Presidential candidates’ image during the 2014 presidential election from the perspective of Facebook users. I analyzed Facebook users’ comments derived from one of the candidate’s Facebook pages, Prabowo Subianto, by employing a thematic analysis to examine an official posting’s comments on June 19, 2014 where a group of celebrities supported Prabawo Subianto. Comments were extracted from June 20, 2014 to July 8, 2014, which was 20 days before election day. Results indicated that the construction of a candidate’s image involved the relationship between the perceived attributes of the candidate and national identity; the relationship between the candidate and his supporters; the perceived personality traits of the candidate, and the ability of supporters to identify with the candidates on a personal level. Moreover, there were also inferences related to political scandals, their treatment by other politicians, spiritual values, and the future state of the country. The study also showed how users tried to make sense of their political world by simplifying the complexity of a candidate through the use of particular themes.