Morphology of an Election Campaign.
Deconstructing the Plots of Political Storytelling in 2018 Italian Vote.
The fundamental features of contemporary political culture - the weakness of ideologies, the personalization of political action, the crisis of intermediary bodies and the fragmentation of the audience - continue to stimulate the process of "mediatization" of politics. In this context, it is not surprising that the political world looks with increasing interest to the media logic of television seriality, the narrative genre that more than any other is now showing itself capable of capturing the attention of the fickle "postmodern" viewer. In particular, election campaigns are increasingly becoming complex narrative architectures focused on the performance of political leaders and organized in multi-strand plot-lines.
So why not use some categories of narratology to read the patterns of political competition? Why not adapt content analysis tools, normally used to decompose and classify storytelling, to deconstruct the plot of political communication?
The paper will present the first results of a research conducted on the self-representations built by the main Italian political leaders engaged in the 2018 election campaign. Among the variables analyzed: narrative target; setting elements; cast's composition; narrative roles; forms of representation; modes of enunciation; themes; plots and master plots; morals; ideologies; moods. The goal is to identify and classify the basic narrative structures of contemporary political communication, with particular attention to the behavioral patterns followed by political leaders during an electoral competition.