Michael Lempert on the marketing of the message in electoral politics
Oct 15, 2012
Michael Lempert has co-authored (with Michael Silverstein) a timely intervention into the political process in the new book: Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency (Indiana University Press).
In the book, they dissect the construction and presentation of a presidential candidate's "message"—revealed through a carefully choreographed persona composed of appearance, style of speech, gesture and publicly packaged biography, which are as influential as what the candidate actually says.
"It's really the 'TMZ-ization' of politics," Lempert said."We've become habituated to this. Basically, we've come to rely on the characterizations of candidates that this system has invented to help us make sense of which candidates we should support."
Given where we are in the election cycle, you can be sure you will be hearing a lot about this excellent example of Anthropology's relevance to public life.