Audience Response to Mediated Authenticity Appeals

  • Magnus H. Iversen
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


Iversen presents the findings of a focus group reception study, shedding light upon how people make sense of and evaluate authenticity appeals in political advertising. These appeals attempt to present a politician as “one of the people”, but also as a true individual, happily sharing their personality and inner emotions. The study concludes that the films function as a resource for citizens’ thinking about what a good political leader should be like. Iversen identifies a distinct ideal for politicians present in Norwegian political culture, namely, the ideal of “authentic leadership”. The authentic leader is not only truly himself but also communicates the right balance of closeness and distance. He is as we are but also above us.


  1. Altheide, David L., and Robert P. Snow. 1991. Media Worlds in the Postjournalism Era. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  2. Bloor, Michael, Jane Frankland, Michelle Thomas, and Kate Robson. 2001. Focus Groups in Social Research. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Braun, Virginia, and Victoria Clarke. 2006. Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3 (2): 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butcher, Howard Karl, Patricia A. Holkup, Myonghwa Park, and Meridean Maas. 2001. Thematic Analysis of the Experience of Making a Decision to Place a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease in a Special Care Unit. Research in Nursing & Health 24 (6): 470–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Daloz, Jean-Pascal. 2009. How Political Representatives Earn Legitimacy: A Symbolic Approach. International Social Science Journal 60 (196): 285–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gentikow, Barbara. 2005. Hvordan utforsker man medieerfaringer?: kvalitativ metode [How Does One Explore Media Experiences?: Qualitative Methods]. Fredrikstad, Norway: IJ-forlaget.Google Scholar
  7. Hjarvard, Stig. 2013. The Mediatization of Culture and Society. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Holtz-Bacha, Christina, and Lynda Lee Kaid. 2006. Political Advertising in International Comparison. In The Sage Handbook of Political Advertising, ed. Lynda Lee Kaid and Christina Holtz-Bacha, 3–13. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Iversen, Magnus Hoem. 2013. An Examination of Norwegian Political Advertising in Film Form. Norsk Medietidsskrift 2 (1): 169–179.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 2016. Breaking the Ban: The Use of Televised Political Advertising in Norway. In Blurring the Lines: Market-Driven and Democracy-Driven Freedom of Expression, ed. Maria Edström, Andrew T. Kenyon, and Eva-Maria Svensson, 193–201. Gothenburg: Nordicom.Google Scholar
  11. Kaid, Lynda Lee. 2012. Political Advertising as Political Marketing: A Retro-Forward Perspective. Journal of Political Marketing 11 (1–2): 29–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kaid, Lynda Lee, and Christina Holtz-Bacha. 2006. Television Advertising and Democratic Systems Around the World: A Comparison of Videostyle Content and Effects. In The Sage Handbook of Political Advertising, ed. Lynda Lee Kaid and Christina Holtz-Bacha, 445–457. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Karvonen, Lauri. 2010. The Personalisation of Politics: A Study of Parliamentary Democracies. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kjeldsen, Jens Elmelund. 2008. Visualizing Egalitarianism: Political Print Ads in Denmark. In Communicating Politics: Political Communication in the Nordic Countries, ed. Jesper Strömbäck, Mark Ørsten, and Toril Aalberg, 139–160. Gothenburg: NORDICOM.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2015. The Study of Visual and Multimodal Argumentation. Argumentation 29 (2): 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kjeldsen, Jens Elmelund, and Anders Johansen. 2011. The Broadcasting of Authenticity: How the Media Transform Public Politics into Personal Feelings. In Critical Perspectives on the European Mediasphere, ed. Ebba Sundin, Nico Carpentier, Hannu Nieminen, Pille Pruulman-Vengerfeldt, Richard Kilborn, and Tobias Olsson, 167–178. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences, Založba FDV.Google Scholar
  17. Klein, Joe. 2006. Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You’re Stupid. New York: Random House Large Print Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Kock, Christian Erik J., and Flemming Hansen. 2002. Evaluation of Public Spokespersons. NORDICOM Information 24: 27–31.Google Scholar
  19. Kress, Gunther R., and Theo Van Leeuwen. 1996. Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Krogstad, Anne, and Aagoth Storvik. 2007. Seductive Heroes and Ordinary Human Beings: Charismatic Political Leadership in France and Norway. Comparative Social Research 23: 211–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kvale, Steinar, and Svend Brinkmann. 2009. InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. Langer, Ana Inés. 2010. The Politicization of Private Persona: Exceptional Leaders or the New Rule? The Case of the United Kingdom and the Blair Effect. The International Journal of Press/Politics 15 (1): 60–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCroskey, James C. 2015. Introduction to Rhetorical Communication. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. McNair, Brian. 2011. An Introduction to Political Communication. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Meyrowitz, Joshua. 1985. No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Michelle, Carolyn. 2007. Modes of Reception: A Consolidated Analytical Framework. The Communication Review 10 (3): 181–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morgan, David L. 1997. The Focus Group Guidebook. Vol. 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  28. Morley, David. 1993. Active Audience Theory: Pendulums and Pitfalls. Journal of Communication 43 (4): 13–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Richardson, Glenn W., Jr. 2008. Pulp Politics: How Political Advertising Tells the Stories of American Politics. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Schrøder, Kim Christian. 2007. Media Discourse Analysis: Researching Cultural Meanings from Inception to Reception. Textual Cultures: Texts, Contexts, Interpretation 2 (2): 77–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Weber, Max. 1958. The Three Types of Legitimate Rule. Berkeley Publications in Society and Institutions 4 (1): 1–11.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 2009. Politics as a Vocation. In From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, ed. H.H. Gerth and W.C. Mills. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus H. Iversen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information Science and Media StudiesUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

Personalised recommendations