In today’s media-enhanced societies where news, opinions and entertainment constantly pervade the social space, political commercials remain the area in which politicians and institutions strive to construct an effective and credible image for themselves. Political commercials reflect the styles and techniques of the times in which they were produced and, at the same time, remain open to the influence of the new media which work as a catalyst for the emergence of new and hybrid genres. As a genre, political commercials rely on the multimodal resources of fiction filmmaking, including script, visuals and performance; over the years, this genre has been able to distill political campaign themes into powerful visual and verbal messages and has contributed to construe what marketing theorists have recently defined as “nation branding” (Leonard 2002), i.e. a set of instruments employed to construct and improve a “competitive identity” (Anholt 2007) for politicians and institutions. Endorsing the assumption that new genres reflect major changes in communication purposes (Bhatia 1993), we contend, by means of a contrastive analysis between traditional and online electoral campaign practices, that novel forms of genre mixing/switching can also be gauged in the context of new media capabilities. To this purpose, we will collect and investigate a short-term diachronic corpus of video political commercials, which covers a time-span of 50 years (1950-2009), in order to sample the evolving political scenarios across the world. The methodological framework of this study draws from critical linguistics, with particular reference to its developments in the field of visual semiotics (Kress and van Leeuwen 1996; O’Halloran 2006) and Critical Discourse Analysis, in its instantiation of new genres in relation to wider social change (Fairclough 2003). Finally, this contribution aims at widening the theoretical approach to genre analysis and genre hybridization by exploiting the theory of memes (Blackmore 1999) which, in our view, underpins genre evolution and its cross-fertilization potential. References Anholt, S. (2007) Competitive Identity. The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Bhatia, V. K. (1993) Analysing Genre. Language Use in Professional Settings. London: Longman. Blackmore, S. (1999) The meme machine. Oxford: OUP. Fairclough, N. (2003) Analysing Discourse. London and New York: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design. London and New York: Routledge. Leonard, M. (2002) Public Diplomacy. London: The Foreign Policy Centre (with C. Stead and C. Smewing). O’Halloran, K.L. (ed.) (2006) Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Systemic-Functional Perspectives. London, Continuum.

A short-term diachronic perspective on political commercials as a hybridized genre: a multimodal critical discourse analysis

CALIENDO, GIUDITTA;
2010

Abstract

In today’s media-enhanced societies where news, opinions and entertainment constantly pervade the social space, political commercials remain the area in which politicians and institutions strive to construct an effective and credible image for themselves. Political commercials reflect the styles and techniques of the times in which they were produced and, at the same time, remain open to the influence of the new media which work as a catalyst for the emergence of new and hybrid genres. As a genre, political commercials rely on the multimodal resources of fiction filmmaking, including script, visuals and performance; over the years, this genre has been able to distill political campaign themes into powerful visual and verbal messages and has contributed to construe what marketing theorists have recently defined as “nation branding” (Leonard 2002), i.e. a set of instruments employed to construct and improve a “competitive identity” (Anholt 2007) for politicians and institutions. Endorsing the assumption that new genres reflect major changes in communication purposes (Bhatia 1993), we contend, by means of a contrastive analysis between traditional and online electoral campaign practices, that novel forms of genre mixing/switching can also be gauged in the context of new media capabilities. To this purpose, we will collect and investigate a short-term diachronic corpus of video political commercials, which covers a time-span of 50 years (1950-2009), in order to sample the evolving political scenarios across the world. The methodological framework of this study draws from critical linguistics, with particular reference to its developments in the field of visual semiotics (Kress and van Leeuwen 1996; O’Halloran 2006) and Critical Discourse Analysis, in its instantiation of new genres in relation to wider social change (Fairclough 2003). Finally, this contribution aims at widening the theoretical approach to genre analysis and genre hybridization by exploiting the theory of memes (Blackmore 1999) which, in our view, underpins genre evolution and its cross-fertilization potential. References Anholt, S. (2007) Competitive Identity. The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Bhatia, V. K. (1993) Analysing Genre. Language Use in Professional Settings. London: Longman. Blackmore, S. (1999) The meme machine. Oxford: OUP. Fairclough, N. (2003) Analysing Discourse. London and New York: Routledge. Kress, G. and van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design. London and New York: Routledge. Leonard, M. (2002) Public Diplomacy. London: The Foreign Policy Centre (with C. Stead and C. Smewing). O’Halloran, K.L. (ed.) (2006) Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Systemic-Functional Perspectives. London, Continuum.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/368895
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