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Published: 19 March 2009

344 Pages | 64 halftones, 24 line drawings


ISBN: 9780195372076

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Image Bite Politics

News and the Visual Framing of Elections

Maria Elizabeth Grabe and Erik Page Bucy

Series in Political Psychology

  • Selling point: Longitudinal visual analysis. This is the only comprehensive, longitudinal, scholarly analysis of the visual representation of political candidates and network news correspondents during the last four presidental elections (1992-2004)
  • Selling point: Theoretical richness. The book draws from theoretical perspectives across a variety of disciplines, including political science, mass communication, behavioral biology, cognitive neuroscience, and visual studies, to investigate the visual framing of elections in an incisive, fresh, and interdisciplinary fashion.
  • Selling point: Novel concepts. The book introduces, documents, and/or elaborates novel concepts in a straightforward and replicable fashion, including image bites, visual framing, visual bias, hedonic leader displays, and image management strategies, in relation to presidential politics. Although these concepts have been identified in other research, they have never been explicated and put to the test in the context of four consecutive general election cycles the way they are here.
  • Selling point: Engagement with public debates. The book presents findings that are counterintuitive and challenge widely held assumptions yet are supported by systemic data—that, for instance, Republicans receive consistently more favorable visual treatment than Democrates, countering the "liberal media bias" accusations; or that image bites are more prevalent, and persuasively potent, than sound bites.

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