The emotional deficit in political communication

This source preferred by Barry Richards

Authors: Richards, B.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ftinterface~content=a714044603~fulltext=713240930

Journal: Political Communication

Volume: 21

Pages: 339-352

ISSN: 1058-4609

DOI: 10.1080/10584600490481451

As a consequence of social changes which have weakened the boundaries between different spheres of life, politics is now interwoven with popular culture. This means that we now seek certain kinds of emotionalized experience from politics. The relationship of people to politics has changed, and has come more fully to resemble a mode of consumption. While this consumerization of politics has been much described (and criticized), its implications for the place of emotion in political communications have not been explored. From a base in the sociology of emotion, this article undertakes such an exploration. It notes how some analysts of political communication have already registered the influence of emotional states, and stresses how contemporary emotionality differs from traditional conceptions of the emotional as a domain separable from rationality and as an optional button for message strategists to press. The complexity and omnipresence of emotional states is emphasised.

Political advertising is taken as one area where a sophistication of messages to match the complexity and power of audience emotions might have been expected to develop, but does not appear to have done so yet to a great extent. Making good this “emotional deficit” in political communications is not primarily a way for particular parties or candidates to gain electoral advantage (though it could be that), but is essential for the regeneration of the democratic process and the creation of a more viable settlement between reason and emotion in contemporary society.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Richards, B.

Journal: Political Communication

Volume: 21

Issue: 3

Pages: 339-352

ISSN: 1058-4609

DOI: 10.1080/10584600490481451

As a consequence of social changes which have weakened the boundaries between different spheres of life, politics is now interwoven with popular culture. This means that we now seek certain kinds of emotionalized experience from politics. The relationship of people to politics has changed, and has come more fully to resemble a mode of consumption. While this consumerization of politics has been much described (and criticized), its implications for the place of emotion in political communications have not been explored. From a base in the sociology of emotion, this article undertakes such an exploration. It notes how some analysts of political communication have already registered the influence of emotional states, and stresses how contemporary emotionality differs from traditional conceptions of the emotional as a domain separable from rationality and as an optional button for message strategists to press. The complexity and omnipresence of emotional states is emphasised. Political advertising is taken as one area where a sophistication of messages to match the complexity and power of audience emotions might have been expected to develop, but does not appear to have done so yet to a great extent. Making good this "emotional deficit" in political communications is not primarily a way for particular parties or candidates to gain electoral advantage (though it could be that), but is essential for the regeneration of the democratic process and the creation of a more viable settlement between reason and emotion in contemporary society.

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Richards, B.

Journal: POLITICAL COMMUNICATION

Volume: 21

Issue: 3

Pages: 339-352

ISSN: 1058-4609

DOI: 10.1080/10584600490481451

The data on this page was last updated at 10:28 on April 24, 2019.