Valretorik i text och bild : En studie i 2002 års svenska valaffischer

Sammanfattning: Posters have been used in political communication for more than a century, and are still an important element in the election campaigns. However, few studies have been devoted to the way in which text and image work together in order to obtain the rhetorical goal of making voters vote for a specific party.In this study, election posters in the 2002 general election in Sweden from all parties represented in the Swedish parliament are analysed. The context of this specific sample of political communication is described through a sociological approach inspired by Pierre Bourdieu, and through theories of political marketing. The model for analysis of the posters combine semiotics and rhetoric in order to present a model capable of analysing both text and image, and the way in which they are used in order to influence and persuade voters.The conclusions are that Swedish parties favour textual messages and not visual elements, and that when visual elements are used, these are mostly portraits of candidates. So apparently, the predominance of visual elements in advertising does not show in election posters. Neither can one claim that personalisation is a predominant element, as the total percentage of posters depicting candidates is quite low. The tendency towards negative campaigning seen in earlier elections is not present in the 2002 posters, and the rhetoric is mostly epideictic and thus aimed at keeping already convinced voters rather than attracting new ones. This might indicate that the posters have lost their role as means of attracting new voters and have become more of an “internal” affair, telling the party’s voters, in a way which presupposes shared points of view, that the party is there to be voted for as always. The posters thus fulfil a symbolic function of binding together adherents rather than attracting newcomers.