ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

When (self)reflexivity leads to political success? Framing Identity of Rising Nation Party for Lithuanian General Elections 2008

Jūratė Kavaliauskaitė
Vilnius University
Jūratė Kavaliauskaitė
Vilnius University
Open Panel

Abstract

Anxiety about the crisis of public communication is often anchored to transformations of contemporary political advertising. Image-based, affective and media-driven advertising is believed to corrupt electorates making their political choice. However, the anxiety seldom leads political scientists to two important questions: first, how ad-saturated, jaded and media-cynic social environments affect innovations in political ads? Secondly, if advertising is doomed to a neomania (Bartes, 1989), a constant quest for original semantic codes to compete in highly competitive markets, what frames are advantageous for new political actors, keen to enter an established multi-party system? Mass communication and advertising scholars distinguish self-reflexivity as an avant-garde mode of framing in commercial ads (Goldman, Papson, 1996, 1998; Leiss, Botterill, 2005). Built on meta-communication, such advertising addresses, reflects, questions itself and brings anxiety about surrogate regimes of imagology (Kundera, 2002) and simulacra (Baudrillard, 1995) to the core of political messages. The paper examines the frame of self-reflexive identity as the key to the success of Rising Nation Party (RNP) in the Lithuanian General Elections 2008. The controversial frame allowed the political newcomer a temporal establishment of a radically new political identity that was attractive for electorates, vulnerable to contemporary mediatization of political reality. The argument is built on the empirical analysis of (a) a semiotic frame of RNP’s core political advertising, (b) triggered responses of the national public sphere, and (c) survey-based (2008) public attitudes towards reflexive and playful frames in strategic political communication. Finally, limitations and faults of radical self-reflexivity in political competition are discussed.