Pathos Technocracy: - An essay about pathos and process in Danish politics

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Troels Rohde Hansen
4. semester, Kommunikation, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This master thesis is a theoretical analysis enhanced focus on personalities in Danish politics and asks the question “Why is there a focus on individuals in Danish Politics?” In communicated messages, campaigns and in the organization of political parties there is an increased convergence on individuals. The paper seeks to explore the reasons and implications of this tendency. It is experimental in the way that it’s written primarily as an essay, following continental tradition. The essay is a merge of the theoretical essay and a narrative essay, as it employs narrative structure to organize a diverse field. At the same time, it is an experiment of including narrative models as a professional challenge of copy writing. The essay is introduced and followed by chapters, expanding the ideas and a theoretical reflection of the model’s application. The objective is not only to describe or offer possible explanations, but to create a well founded basic explanation why the focus on personalities emerged. By describing and analyzing texts and research material from Danish and international scientists in political communication, as well as journalists and politicians.gør du hvad? Among others are Jay Blumler, John Street, Lotte Hansen, Tim Knudsen and an interview with Johannes Andersen. It further includes the system theory of Niklas Lumann. These create an insight to the field of political communications and Danish politics, which is then set in perspective to make a consistent image of the development and current state of the political reality. Because the media most produce stories fast and effective, as a consequence of the autopoietically closed system of media and economic reality, anything presented as programs must be compelling, so the wiever directs it attention to it. The attention becomes a commodity then sold to advertisers. Politicians must compete too – for attention from audiences and time on broadcast media thus adapting to the critiria of the media. The consequnces of which, will depend on the perspective, as discussed in the essay. The objective succeeds partially, as it becomes evident that it is indeed not a focus on personalities, but a matter of “Attention Economy” and “pathos appeal used to create an emotional identification”, in politics based on symbols, and media where the journalism focuses processes instead of political contents. Personalities are a tool and a symptom of politics in an attention economy. If this tendency becomes the new mode for politics, democracy will cease to exist, and will be replaced with a Pathos Technocracy.
Antal sider54
Udgivende institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 14633834