Multimodal legitimation: Looking at and listening to Obama’s ads

Rowan R. Mackay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper I look at legitimation in multimodal texts. By focusing first upon genre analysis from a social semiotic perspective, and highlighting the complications it presents for genre identification, I lay a conceptual framework for looking at the specific genre of political spot ads. Analyzing a small selection of such ads used in the 2008 American presidential campaign, I show how the legitimating features they contain, although recognizable from more traditional studies, have been strikingly and successfully adapted to a new context. Furthermore, I suggest that this reworking marks a shift in the hierarchy of legitimating tools: a shift away from the unquestioned primacy of text and talk.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnalyzing Genres in Political Communication
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and practice
EditorsPiotr Cap, Urszula Okulska
PublisherJohn Benjamins Pub Co
ISBN (Print)ISBN 9789027206411
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameDiscourse Approaches to Politics, Society, and Culture (DAPSAC)


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