“The Imagined Presidency”: Political Communication as “Narrative” and “Performance” – A Case Study of Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign

  • Many communication scholars agree that political communication in the 21st century has permanently changed due to the enormous shifts in mass media communications landscape. Today, political culture and public debate are characterized by a highly individualistic and consumption-oriented electorate conditioned by a hypermedialized public sphere spawned by the so-called “Digital Revolution”. Confronted with a fluid and volatile communications landscape, political actors of the 21st century have had to develop new strategies to fulfill their functional role in the public arena and satisfy their audiences’ expectations. This has had massive impact on the communication logistics of perhaps the world’s most powerful political office and the ultimate of collective meaning-making and national identity in the United States: that of the American Presidency. The perception of Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign as epitomizing such shifts in the collective meaning-making processes lies at the core of this research project. The analyzesMany communication scholars agree that political communication in the 21st century has permanently changed due to the enormous shifts in mass media communications landscape. Today, political culture and public debate are characterized by a highly individualistic and consumption-oriented electorate conditioned by a hypermedialized public sphere spawned by the so-called “Digital Revolution”. Confronted with a fluid and volatile communications landscape, political actors of the 21st century have had to develop new strategies to fulfill their functional role in the public arena and satisfy their audiences’ expectations. This has had massive impact on the communication logistics of perhaps the world’s most powerful political office and the ultimate of collective meaning-making and national identity in the United States: that of the American Presidency. The perception of Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign as epitomizing such shifts in the collective meaning-making processes lies at the core of this research project. The analyzes Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign with respect to its underlying communicational and performative concept(s), and its impact on the socio-ontological dimension of the office of the American Presidency in the 21st century. While storytelling and performative staging have always been crucial to the American presidential office (Cornog 2004; Woodward 2007, Weiss 2008), this research project aims to show how “telling a story” and staging it properly have become the sine qua non for American presidential political communication. This case study of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign examines the central role that imaginative processes, their narrative formation and performative staging play in 21st century political dialog. Furthermore the dissertation suggests, that these paradigmatic shifts demand a refinement of existing socio-political concepts of the institution of the American Presidency.show moreshow less

Download full text files

Export metadata

Metadaten
Author:Sarah Makeschin
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:739-opus4-4496
Advisor:Karsten Fitz, Volker Depkat
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language:English
Year of Completion:2015
Date of Publication (online):2017/01/19
Date of first Publication:2017/01/19
Publishing Institution:Universität Passau
Granting Institution:Universität Passau, Philosophische Fakultät
Date of final exam:2016/02/23
Release Date:2017/01/19
Pagenumber:230 S.
Institutes:Philosophische Fakultät
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 81 Amerikanische Literatur in Englisch / 810 Amerikanische Literatur in Englisch
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
Licence (German):License LogoStandardbedingung laut Einverständniserklärung