Propaganda Devices Essay Sample

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1 .Name-calling
This involves the use of words to connect a person or idea to a negative concept. The aim is to make a person reject something without examining the evidence because of the negative associations attached to it. Examples of words include ‘Terrorist‘, ‘Nazi‘ and ‘Queer’. Name Calling is used as a substitute for arguing the merits of an idea, belief, or proposal. It is often employed using sarcasm and ridicule in political cartoons and writing. 2. Glittering Generalities

The opposite of name-calling, this involves the use of highly valued concepts and beliefs which attract general approval and acclaim. These are vague, emotionally attractive words like ‘freedom‘, ‘honor‘ and ‘love‘. This method works because these concepts/words mean different things to different people, while still having a positive implication. When someone talks to us about democracy, we immediately think of our own definite ideas about democracy, the ideas we learned at home, at school, and in church. Our first and natural reaction is to assume that the speaker is using the word in our sense, that he believes as we do on this important subject. This lowers our ’sales resistance’ and makes us far less suspicious.. 3. Transfer

This is a technique used to carry over the authority and approval of something you respect and revere to something the propagandist would have you accept. One does this by projecting the qualities of an entity, person or symbol to another through visual or mental association. This stimulates the recipient and makes him/her identify with recognized authorities. In the Transfer device, symbols are constantly used. The cross represents the Christian Church. The flag represents the nation. Cartoons like Uncle Sam represent a consensus of public opinion. Those symbols stir emotions. At their very sight, with the speed of light, is aroused the whole complex of feelings we have with respect to church or nation. 4. Testimonial

The aim of testimonial is to leverage the experience, authority and respect of a person and use it to endorse a product or cause. Testimonials appeal to emotions instead of logic because they generally provide weak justifications for the product or a cause of action. ‘The Times said,’ ‘John L. Lewis said…,’ ‘Herbert Hoover said…’, ‘The President said…’, ‘My doctor said…,’ ‘Our minister said…’ Some of these Testimonials may merely give greater emphasis to a legitimate and accurate idea, a fair use of the device; others, however, may represent the sugar-coating of a distortion, a falsehood, a misunderstood notion, an anti-social suggestion…” 5. Plain Folks

A technique whereby the propagandist positions him or herself as an average person just like the target audience, thereby demonstrating the ability to empathize and understand the concerns/feelings of the masses.One may perform ordinary actions or use language and mannerisms to reach the audience and cohere with their point of view. We are all familiar with candidates who campaign as political outsiders, promising to “clean out the barn” and set things straight in Washington. The political landscape is dotted with politicians who challenge a mythical “cultural elite,” presumably aligning themselves with “ordinary Americans.” As baby boomers approach their sixth decade, we are no longer shocked by the sight of politicians in denim who listen to rock n roll. 6. Card Stacking

A way of manipulating audience perceptions by emphasizing one side of an argument which reinforces your position, while repressing/minimizing dissenting opinions. An example of this articles/media events which compare and contrast the best possible scenarios with the worse examples. Assume a newspaper editor were in favor of the non-enforcement of immigration laws. Should the issue of immigration law enforcement ever be debated among legislators, the editor might publish articles and editorials that ignore all mention of illegal alien criminals, gang members, and prisoners and report only on decent, hard-working foreigners instead. This sort of card stacking could go on for weeks and influence public opinion on the issue. 7. Bandwagon

The basic premise for the bandwagon technique is to suggest that ’since everyone is doing it, you should too’. It’s aim to persuade people to follow a general trend by reinforcing the human need to participate on the winning side. One can suggest to an audience that he or she will lose out by not moving with the rest of the crowd, thus preying on their insecurities and fears. With the aid of all the other propaganda devices, all of the artifices of flattery are used to harness the fears and hatreds, prejudices and biases, convictions and ideals common to a group. Thus is emotion made to push and pull us as members of a group onto a Band Wagon.

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