Presentation on theme: "Eight Faces of Propaganda A video survey informed by propagandacritic.com."— Presentation transcript:
Eight Faces of Propaganda A video survey informed by propagandacritic.com
What is propaganda? Propaganda, simply put, is persistent persuasive messaging. It includes: – Ads ads ads. It resists: – The give and take of argument: i.e., critical thinking. It does this by manipulating: – Symbols – Emotions
Propaganda connotes malevolence, but it is a neutral tool. Not necessarily good. Not necessarily evil.
Types of Propaganda. Many types of propaganda, but we will focus on 8 key types identified by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis. The concepts in this PowerPoint come from propagandacritic.com. The example locations are indicated throughout. Word Games – Name-calling – Glittering generalities – Euphemisms False Connections – Transfer – Testimonial Special Appeals – Plain folks – Bandwagon – Fear
Name calling. Definition: a device that “links a person, or idea to a negative symbol.” Effective how? The intended audience may reject the person or idea on the basis of the negative symbol. Examples: the words “hobo,” “queer,” “terrorist,” etc., have negative connotations added through the years.
Name calling antidotes: ask yourself… What does the name mean? Does the idea in question have a legitimate connection with the real meaning of the name? Is an idea that serves my best interests being dismissed through giving it a name I don't like? Leaving the name out of consideration, what are the merits of the idea itself?
Name calling example. “Boys Beware,” a 1950’s anti-gay propaganda film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5VNe9N TOxA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5VNe9N TOxA
Glittering generalities. Definition: a device that uses “virtue words” in association with the person or idea being promoted: e.g., “democracy,” “good,” “motherhood,” “fatherhood,” etc. Effective how? Audience supplies its own definitions for the “glittering” quality and applies it to the object of promotion, making it seem virtuous.
Glittering generalities antidote: ask yourself… What does the “virtue word” really mean? Does the idea in question have a legitimate connection with the real meaning of the word: Is an idea that does not serve my best interests being "sold" to me merely through its being given a name that I like? Leaving the “virtue word” out of consideration, what are the merits of the idea itself?
Euphemisms. Definition: a device that attempts to make a potentially unpleasant reality more palatable. Effective how? Audience is shielded from factual perception of the person or idea for which euphemism is being employed. Example: “collateral damage” is the term the military uses for civilian casualties – civilians who are killed in a war zone.
Transfer. Definition: a device by which the authority or prestige of something we respect is carried over to the person or idea being promoted. Symbols are used heavily to achieve this: the cross, American flag, etc. Effective how? The symbols deployed act as a sort of short-hand. Example: “doctors” in white lab coats to suggest that a cold medicine is effective.
Transfer antidotes: ask yourself… In the most simple and concrete terms, what is the proposal of the speaker? What is the meaning of the thing from which the propagandist is seeking to transfer authority, sanction, and prestige? Is there any legitimate connection between the proposal of the propagandist and the revered thing, person or institution? Leaving the propagandistic trick out of the picture, what are the merits of the proposal viewed alone?
Transfer example. “Volkswagen Commercial: the Force,” 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e- uHQna0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e- uHQna0 “Firework,” Katy Perry, 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBd aqIw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBd aqIw
Testimonial. Definition: a device that uses an outside source (like a celebrity) to confer legitimacy for a person, product or idea. Effective how: audience is manipulated by the appeal to an illegitimate authority. Example: Oprah Winfrey supported Barak Obama for his presidential campaign, but for what reason should we believe she knows what is best for the country?
Testimonial antidotes: ask yourself… Who or what is quoted in the testimonial? Why should we regard this person (or organization or publication) as having expert knowledge or trustworthy information on the subject in question? What does the idea amount to on its own merits, without the benefit of the Testimonial?
Testimonial example. “The Official Justin Bieber Proactiv Commercial,” 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyET522r KMA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyET522r KMA
Plain folks. Definition: a device that uses “ordinary people” to offer testimony on behalf of a person, idea or thing. Effective how? The device helps to convince audience that the object of promotion is “of the people.” Example: “America's recent presidents have all been millionaires, but they have gone to great lengths to present themselves as ordinary citizens. Bill Clinton ate at McDonald's and confessed a fondness for trashy spy novels. George Bush Sr. hated broccoli, and loved to fish. Ronald Reagan was often photographed chopping wood, and Jimmy Carter presented himself as a humble peanut farmer from Georgia.”
Plain folks antidotes. What are the propagandist's ideas worth when divorced from his or her personality? What could he or she be trying to cover up with the plain-folks approach? What are the facts?
Bandwagon. Definition: a device that suggests “everyone else is doing it, and so should you.” Effective how? People adore a crowd and do not want to be left out of groups. Example: “Big Bang Hite Beer,” 2009.
Bandwagon antidotes. What is this propagandist's program? What is the evidence for and against the program? Regardless of the fact that others are supporting this program, should I support it? Does the program serve or undermine my individual and collective interests?