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Political Rhetoric Meets Political Psychology

Political Rhetoric Meets Political Psychology

The Process of Group Implication

(p.17) 2 Political Rhetoric Meets Political Psychology
Dangerous Frames
University of Chicago Press

Both race and gender condition our experience of social life, and they both play huge roles in structuring personal and social relationships, political discourse, public policy, and popular culture. Each, therefore, has symbolic implications well beyond its literal domain. If race and gender are such important social and psychological concepts, if they lend meaning to such a wide array of seemingly unrelated things, then surely they can have powerful effects on political cognition as well. Each can serve as metaphors by which we perceive and evaluate a much wider range of political issues. Under the right circumstances, citizens will draw on their beliefs about race or gender when thinking about politics. This chapter explores the ways that political communication and political psychology combine to drive this process. It uses the term “group implication” for the process through which ideas about social groups—specifically, race and gender—can be applied to political issues that do not involve either directly. It also discusses the building blocks for group implication: schemas, frames, and analogical reasoning.

Keywords:   race, gender, politics, political communication, political psychology, group implication, social groups, schemas, frames, analogical reasoning

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