Meaning, Cultural Symbols, and Campaign Strategies

David C. Leege and Kenneth D. Wald

in The Affect Effect

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226574417
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226574431 | DOI:
Meaning, Cultural Symbols, and Campaign Strategies

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This chapter, which argues for emotion's central role in cultural politics, first introduces a theory of cultural politics followed by the dynamics of political campaigns. It then evaluates how emotions are applied to mobilize or demobilize target groups within rival political coalitions. Emotions play a key role in long-term electoral transitions. Modern campaign industries make cultural politics powerful. White evangelical Protestants and white business and professional women have played key roles in the realignment and mobilization of the political parties, and white business and professional women have become a new base of the Democratic Party. The crucial assumption of affective intelligence theory implies that the voter is faced with a binary decision. But voters have a third option, abstention, which they often exercise when faced with unpalatable alternatives.

Keywords: emotion; cultural politics; political campaigns; political coalitions; electoral transitions; white evangelical Protestants; white business; professional women; Democratic Party

Chapter.  8951 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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