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Political Personality in Media Democracy

Astrid Schütz


With the advent of →  Television the public appearance of political processes has changed fundamentally. Television makes visual impressions of political events easily available and provides politicians with the opportunity to project an →  Image of themselves to the general public (→  Media Democracy ). This is assumed to have been contributing to a personalization of politics in general, and particularly to the change from issue-centered to candidate-centered election campaigning (→  Personalization of Campaigning ). When the political parties and the mass media focus on the leading politicians, their public images become important factors in shaping and changing political opinions (→  Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs, Media Effects on ; Candidate Image ). As people lend themselves more readily to a mediated presentation of politics, the personality of political representatives plays an important role in citizens’ thinking and behavior (→  Political Cognitions ). Personality can be defined as the intra-individual consistent pattern of reactions to different situations. With respect to the concept of political personality three different meanings may be distinguished: (1) the politician's private or “true” personality; (2) the persona a politician publicly presents (→  Impression Management ; Self-Presentation ); and (3) the image the media present of a politician. The politician's ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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