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The Sociodrama of Presidential Politics: Rhetoric, Ritual, and Power in the Era of Teledemocracy
James R. McLeod
Vol. 101, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 359-373
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/683206
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Political campaigns, Political rhetoric, Rituals, Political anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Presidential debates, Anthropology, Political candidates, Political power, Religious rituals
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In this paper I examine the American presidential campaign cycle as a series of ritualized sociodramas. Examples are used from the campaigns of 1988, 1992, and 1996 to illustrate the role of ritual, rhetoric, symbol, and media in the process of presidential power acquisition. These political processes are analyzed utilizing the concepts of sociodrama and rituals of rebellion extant in the literature of political anthropology. Specific cases such as the bus tours of the Clinton campaign, the Willie Horton commercials of the Bush campaign, and the case of Murphy Brown are examined in detail. The goal of the paper is to render an anthropological perspective on the process of choosing the American President in the era of teledemocracy.
American Anthropologist © 1999 American Anthropological Association