REPRESENTATIONS OF VIRTUES: EXAMPLES OF PRESIDENTIAL BILLBOARDS
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The article explores self-representation as an interaction duty of potential interaction partner to suggest his or her trustworthiness (Goffman 1959). It analyses the process of representation of personal virtues on the example of actors of special sort - six the most successful candidates in the first round of the 2004 Slovak presidential campaign - and in a special interaction space - on spacious billboards used in the campaign. Organization of the visual and textual ways of the representation of fiduciary virtues (Barber 1983, Luhmann 2000) is analysed with use of the conceptual framework in which the author tries to link the term of face-work and team-work (Goffman 1959, 1967), dialogical self (Bachtin 1988), multi-voice self (Hermans 1996), positioning (Davies & Harré 1990) and priming (Iyengar - Kinder 1987) to promote a dynamic perspective on self-presentation and to explore the textual and visual means/forms of self-representation. After introducing the analytical frame, the paper continues with the debating the problems of the self-presentation and articulating representative or 'presidential' virtues to a general public (Druckman 2004). The presidential billboard case study focuses especially on a) how the personal reliability is demonstrated, b) how virtues are objectified and c) how diverging candidate's loyalties are managed. It is argued that the analysis of visual form of self-representation suggests more clearly that the self-representation is organized as the orchestration of numerous human and non-human voices, including a voice of silence.
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