Some commentators have welcomed a world in which political advertisements resemble music videos and in which film and rock stars behave like politicians. Others have complained bitterly at what they see as the ‘dumbing down’ of political communication. This chapter puts this debate in perspective. It examines the contrasting explanations for why political communication has adopted the possibilities offered by popular culture. It identifies the ways in which popular culture can communicate politically, not just serving as a platform for propaganda, but as a site of political engagement. This wider perspective on the relationship between political communication and popular culture is most vividly embodied in the form of the celebrity politician. The chapter ends by asking what we know about the impact of such figures, and by identifying a research agenda that will lead to a fuller appreciation of the role of popular culture in contemporary political communication.
|Title of host publication||The Sage Handbook of Political Communication|
|Editors||Holli Semetko, Margaret Scammell|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|