A test of personalization of politics in Chile's 2009 presidential election

Juan Cristóbal Portales E
2009 Cuadernos.info  
Personalized politics entails a process where voters' preferences are no longer attached to the preferences of a certain political party. Individuals decide who they will vote for by assessing politicians' appearance, personal characteristics and nonverbal behaviour instead of arguments and policy-issue standings. Moreover, this personalization is not exclusively related to voters but also dominates the behaviour of politicians and the media. In order to explore such phenomena in more detail,
more » ... is article uses the 2009 presidential elections in Chile as a case study. A quantitative content analysis of candidates' press coverage in three major newspapers was conducted in order to determine both the predominant themes behind this personalization trend and the actors causing this personalization. The findings showed clear evidence of a personalization of the political discourse that resulted from the interaction or transaction between voters´ perception of candidates' personalities, the candidates´ self-reported traits, and how the news media emphasised these traits. Abstract - Palabras clave: personalización, política, medios de comunicación, votantes, teoría de esquemas, proceso transaccional, Chile, elección presidencial
doi:10.7764/cdi.25.48 fatcat:b43qouly4rcfznkcfd7okec5hu