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Historical and existential coherence in political commercials

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journal contribution
posted on 05.05.2017 by Melissa R. Meade, Jessica Robles
This article analyzes discourse, narrative, and video editing to introduce the concept of “historical coherence.” This concept is an expansion on Alessandro Duranti’s notion of “existential coherence”—the construction of an embodied narrative connecting a candidate’s past with his/her decision to run for office—from his 2006 study of a candidate’s campaign speeches. The present study examines how language and communication are linked with historical narratives through the use of a multimodal stories in which US political commercials link candidates’ present actions with historical events, dynamics, artifacts and/or figures. This “historical coherence” is constructed through several strategies: (1) constructing a narrative in which popular historical figures or archetypal figures are in agreement with the candidate; (2) preempting charges of lack of historical coherence; (3) presenting historical restrictions to freedom and casting the candidate, or the candidate’s party in general, as a preventative from future calamities and transgressions to freedom.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Discourse and Communication

Citation

MEADE, M.R. and ROBLES, J., 2017. Historical and existential coherence in political commercials. Discourse and Communication, 11 (4), pp. 404-432.

Publisher

SAGE © The Authors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/03/2017

Publication date

2017

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Discourse and Communication and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481317707560

ISSN

1750-4813

eISSN

1750-4821

Language

en

Exports