Peculiarities of Creating a Political Image in a Pre-Election Campaign: The Gender Aspect

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Abstract


The article is concerned with the influence of the gender factor on creating the image of a political leader. The 2008 US vice-presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden has been chosen as research material. The scientific value of the article consists in a thorough study of the peculiarities of the politicians’ use of linguistic means and their interpretation in terms of creating a positive image by males and females. The author considers the structure of an image and its components including a few communicative self-presentation microroles, which are thought to be traditional for American political discourse. Besides, the paper analyses the tactics used by the politicians in course of their speech and the images created focusing mainly on the logical and emotional components of the vice-presidential candidates’ addresses. The author arrives at the conclusion that the speech of both candidates corresponds to gender expectations regarding male and female speech behavior. In particular, the female candidate places a greater emphasis on the topic of family and her language is more emotionally expressive whereas the male candidate tends to highlight logic and accuracy and uses a more emotionally neutral speaking style.

Elizaveta D Butsyk

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)

Email: l.butsyk@yandex.ru

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