Psychosocial approach: Communication and social listening in polarised contexts
About Lesson

Emotional appeal

The political antagonism proposed by populism is based on the idea of the people and the enemies of the people. The people are articulated through the populist party, which, in the hands of the charismatic leader, is the only legitimate representative of the people in its task of recovering the power usurped by the enemies.

Who are “the people”?

The concept of ‘people’ has more to do with a deliberate invention than with a historical product of a collective imagination. In speaking of a people, populism creates it. The people is a metaphor: the image of a united totality that reality, due to the fragmentation of modern societies, does not confirm.

Populism thus sets itself the task of constructing the notion of the people, according to its own definition, by appealing to the affections of its latent or potential members.

Populism addresses the crowd through emotional means, this is where its abstract ideas become effective.

On many occasions, it is a matter of working with the negative feelings produced by the dissatisfaction of different social groups, intensified during economic crises, to convert them into positive feelings of belonging.

Emotional appeal
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