Elections, Parties, and Pressure Groups
Session 12: Propaganda
- Political Process Vocabulary List (Attachment A)
- Examples of campaign literature and commercials
- Campaign Techniques Organizer (Attachment J)
- Write the day's vocabulary words on an overhead or on the board (see Attachment A). Briefly discuss their meanings.
- Use the organizer (Attachment J) in a large group discussion to describe campaign techniques. Use information from the text and the examples students looked at yesterday. It is often best to list all of the characteristics that students name and then ask them to select the 3 or 4 best to fill in the organizer. Do the same with the examples.
- Ask students to open their texts to the description of the propaganda techniques. Go over the definition of each and give an example. Include any others listed in the textbook. Here are some examples.
• Glittering generalities: Using ideas and phrases that everyone agrees with. ("I love America and freedom.")
• Testimonials: A well-known person endorses a candidate (when President Bush campaigns for other Republicans).
• Transfer: The candidate connects himself with a respected group. ("I served in the Army in World War II.")
• Plain folks: The candidate tries to make the voters think he or she has the same issues in life and lives in the same neighborhood as they do. ("I am a member of the Jefferson Elementary PTA, where my daughter goes to school. Public education is very important to me.")
• Bandwagon: Appeals to the human instinct to want to support a winner. ("The polls show that I am ahead by 7 percentage points.")
- Discuss each technique. Ask students to look at the ads they used yesterday. Identify the techniques they see. Ask if they are effective, and why.
- Read the section on the public agenda in the textbook for homework.