Democracy Through the Polarized Lens of the Camcorder: Argumentation and Vernacular Spectacle on Youtube in the 2008 Election

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

YouTube was commonly used to display evidence of negative campaigning in the 2008 election. This essay tracks the use of YouTube against supporters of John McCain, focusing on how argumentation is constructed through the video blogging site. Thirty-two videos were examined through a rhetorical analysis of argument focusing on the argumentation strategies, construction of ethos, and intertextual referencing. Ultimately, l argue that the videos construct a form of spectacle, dialectically reliant upon mainstream media frames and market-based logics of viewership. The concept of vernacular spectacle is offered as a rhetorical and argumentative construction of the polarized other that is produced by and affects participatory political culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-122
Number of pages17
JournalArgumentation and Advocacy
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 2008 election
  • digital media
  • presidential campaigning
  • vernacular spectacle
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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