Preaching to the Choir: Models of Citizenship and Concepts of Democracy in Reception of ‘Get Out the Vote’ Posters
This dissertation reports the findings of research that studied the reception of Get Out the Vote posters, by Canadian citizens of voting age, via an interdisciplinary theoretical framework. The study’s main finding is that the reception of Get Out the Vote posters is better explained by an intersection of personal Concepts of Democracy (Saward, 2003) and personal Civic Models Concepts of Citizenship (Dalton, 2009) than it is by audience reception theories or voter turnout theories separately. The study begins with theoretical and methodological reviews in chapters one through three. Chapter four explores audience reception of posters vis-a-vis demographic factors using Hall’s Encoding/Decoding model (1980), Morley’s Reading Types model (1980) Tomkins’ Affect Theory (1995) and the photo elicitation data generation method (Harper, 2002). Chapter five explores the role of Concepts of Democracy (Saward, 2003) in meaning-making vis-a-vis reception of visual elements. Chapter six explores the role of Civic Models Concepts of Citizenship (Dalton, 2009) in meaning-making vis-a-vis reception of slogans. Chapter seven creates a system of four Political Character Types from the intersection of the two concepts: • “Choir members” who tend to internalize the intended message positively. • Libertarians who oppose the intended message or negotiate its meaning negatively. • Activists who negotiate their meaning of the intended message in a positive manner. • Inattentive citizens who oppose voting encouragement messages or ridicule them. Chapter eight reports of the theoretical and methodological research conclusions. It also reports on practical findings and future recommendations for producers of Get Out the Vote posters.
Political Communication, Visual Communication, Reception Studies, Voter Turnout, Get Out the Vote Campaigns
Berenstein, O. (2019). Preaching to the Choir: Models of Citizenship and Concepts of Democracy in Reception of ‘Get Out the Vote’ Posters (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.