HONORS 135 - Ideas in Honors
Section: 003 And I Approve this Message: Political Advertising and the 2008 Election
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Honors Program (HONORS)
Department: LSA Honors
Credits:
1
Other:
Honors, Minicourse
Class Misc Info:
Meets 10/30-12/4. (Drop/Add deadline=09/26/08)..
Advisory Prerequisites:
First-year standing in the Honors Program.
Grading:
Mandatory credit/no credit.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Class meets Sept. 15, 22, 29, 6, 13, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, and possibly Nov. 24

Modern politics operates largely through the lens of the mass media, and the field of political communication research is rapidly evolving as scholars realize the impact of the mass media on voters’ political attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs. The study of political advertising is especially significant during the 2008 election season; the typical viewer is bombarded with messages from every candidate, political party, and interest group imaginable. To that end, this minicourse will introduce students to the theory and practice of political advertising with a special focus on the 2008 campaign, helping students to become informed consumers of political media. The class will meet for seven weeks, and will begin with a general overview of the literature and theory surrounding both traditional persuasion techniques and the analysis of political advertising as a medium. Building upon this theoretical background, we will discuss some of history’s most famous political advertisements—Johnson’s “Daisy Girl,” Reagan’s “Morning in America” and “Bear in the Woods,” and the Willie Horton ad, for example—in order to learn how to critically analyze the elements of a political advertisement and to become more familiar with political communication theory. The discussion will then turn to the political advertising of the 2008 election as we examine how the medium has been used over the lengthy campaign season, the types of ads that are most prevalent, and close analysis of specific commercials. Students will be introduced to political communication as a field of inquiry and gain analytic skills through the close reading of famous historical and recent political advertisements. We will think both analytically and creatively, considering the impact of political advertisements on their audiences and brainstorming effective communication techniques. Weekly readings will be required, as will active participation in discussion. Short written responses to advertisements (250 words) will be assigned frequently, in addition to a final project involving the in-depth analysis of a political advertisement of the student’s choice. Reading List may include: Brader, T. (2006). Campaigning for hearts and minds: How emotional appeals in political ads work. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Selections] Geer, John G. (2006). In Defense of negativity: Attack ads in presidential campaigns. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Selections] Johnston, A., and Kaid, L. L. (2002). Image ads and issue ads in U.S. presidential advertising: using videostyle to explore stylistic differences in televised political ads from 1952 to 2000. Journal of Communication, 52(2), 281-300. Kaid, L. L., Postelnicu, M., Landreville, K., Yun, H. J., & LeGrange, G. (2007). The effects of political advertising on young voters. American Behavioral Scientist, 50(9), 1137-1151. Petty, R. E., Cacioppo, J. T., and Schumann, D. (1983). Central and peripheral routes to advertising effectiveness: The moderating role of environment. Journal of ConsumerResearch, 10(2), 135-146. Scheufele, D. A. (2000). Agenda-setting, priming, and framing revisited: Another look at cognitive effects of political communication. Mass Communication and Society, 3(2/3), 297-316. Westen, D. (2007). The political brain: The role of emotion in deciding the fate of the nation. New York: Public Affairs. [Selections] In addition, current newspaper articles and other media clips about advertising in the 2008 campaign will be assigned.

HONORS 135 - Ideas in Honors
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
19531
Closed
0
1LSA Hnrs Y1
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note:
002 (SEM)
P
22627
Open
2
2LSA Hnrs Y1
-
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note:
003 (SEM)
P
19532
Closed
0
 
-
M 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: note:
004 (SEM)
P
19533
Open
1
1LSA Hnrs Y1
-
Tu 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: note:
005 (SEM)
P
20479
Open
3
3LSA Hnrs Y1
-
M 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: note:
006 (SEM)
P
20488
Open
4
4LSA Hnrs Y1
-
W 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: note:
007 (SEM)
P
21567
Open
3
4LSA Hnrs Y1
-
W 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Note: note:
008 (SEM)
P
22628
Closed
0
 
-
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
Note: note:
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