#研究分享#【电视与威权主义人格的培养】

#研究分享#【电视与威权主义人格的培养】2016年,唐纳德·特朗普的当选引起了美国人们对独裁主义及威权主义的恐惧,此前他们都认为这主要存在于其他国家。这样研究使用一个全国性的样本,来检视电视与威权主义价值观之间的关系。研究发现,电视的受众更容易受到专制的影响,更可能支持特朗普。研究发现了威权主义人格与特朗普支持者之间的关系,这对当前的政治传播与媒介效果研究都有重要意义。

屏幕快照 2017-08-04 上午12.12.53

Television and the Cultivation of Authoritarianism: A Return Visit From an Unexpected Friend

Authors

Abstract

The 2016 Presidential election brought a surprise: the rise of Donald Trump as a viable candidate for the Republican nomination. What started as a seeming publicity stunt morphed into something more. Trump raised fears of authoritarianism—and even fascism—that were thought to be mostly confined to other countries. This study uses a national sample to examine television viewing's relationship to authoritarian values. We find that heavy viewers of television are more likely to be authoritarian, and that authoritarians are more likely to support Trump. We find an indirect relationship between amount of viewing and Trump support through authoritarianism. These findings have implications for current political debates as well as for media effects theory.

The emergence and victory of Donald Trump in the tumultuous 2016 U.S. presidential election raises many critical and challenging questions for communication scholars. At the outset of the Republican political primary season, no political expert or pundit predicted that Trump would last long. He was widely seen as an amusing distraction in an otherwise crowded field, one who was sure to fizzle out quickly. Trump dumped all forms and rules of traditional campaigning and immediately began an assault on immigration, targeting Mexicans as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists, and so forth” and proposing to build a wall (to be paid for by Mexico) to keep out future undocumented immigrants. He went on to offer a barrage of “politically incorrect” proposals, insults, offenses, and inconsistencies that normally would have derailed a campaign. He quickly evolved a strategy based on a “strongman” personality that many saw as raising the specter of a dangerous authoritarianism moving to the forefront of American politics. In the end, to the surprise of most, this strategy worked.

Trump's success in the 2016 election reintroduced a factor that we have not thought much about recently: the role of media in creating fervent support for one perceived as a strong leader. Historically, leaders identified as “authoritarian” (such as Hitler, Perón, or Berlusconi) may represent sharply distinct political philosophies and regimes, ranging from traditional fascism to nationalism to right-wing populism. But what such leaders share in common are their efforts to control and manipulate the media. Those efforts in turn raise questions about the power of media to generate allegiance to those leaders and consent for their actions. With populism and nationalism on the rise around the world, these questions take on additional urgency.

Indeed, Trump's use of media and the role of media in his election have been the focus of extensive attention. Many pundits and social observers have pointed to his use of social media to bolster his personal charisma and build his movement. Tweeting in particular allowed him to circumvent the gatekeeping role of traditional news media, even while he exploited their near fixation with him, giving him an enormous amount of free (and for the media, ratings-rich) coverage.

The specific media tactics used by Trump, along with the practices of media institutions during the campaign, deserve and will certainly receive serious scholarly study. Our concern here, however, is with a broader and more subtle issue: What are the dynamics within the media cultural environment that may have contributed to Trump's popularity? Could television—which continues to occupy more of Americans' leisure time than any other activity or medium (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)—play a role in cultivating a cultural climate that made Trump's triumph possible? We are not talking about news and campaign coverage, but about the role of general, everyday programming, about television content, largely entertainment, that carries no explicit political messages and few if any direct references whatsoever to Trump. Following the theoretical assumptions, methodological procedures, and previous findings of cultivation analysis (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1982; Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, Signorielli, & Shanahan, 2002; Shanahan & Morgan, 1999), this study asks if heavy television viewing contributes to the kind of authoritarian mindset that may have helped elect Donald Trump.

Theories of authoritarianism

Authoritarianism has been a much-studied (and much contested) construct since the 1950s. Gaining impetus and momentum from the events of World War II and the rise of worldwide Fascist movements, it has been adduced as a “root cause” of attitudes such as ethnocentrism, nationalism, and anti-Semitism. The idea is that the authoritarian “personality” is one who is subservient to power above him or her, and abusive of power to those below. Authoritarians favor conformity; liberal attitudes that support and celebrate freedom of speech or social diversity are abhorrent to authoritarians' sense of things. They also prize law and order, and believe force and power are often necessary to create it. Strong leaders are seen as more desirable than those who work toward consensus or compromise through democratic means (see Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford, 1950; Altemeyer, 1998; Hetherington & Weiler, 2009).

The basics of authoritarianism were most famously laid out by Adorno et al. in The Authoritarian Personality (1950). They developed a scale (the “F” scale, for fascism) that was intended to measure persons' tendencies toward authoritarian values. The scale assessed responses to statements such as “Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn,” “What this country needs most, more than laws and political programs, is a few courageous, tireless, devoted leaders in whom the people can put their faith,” and “The true American way of life is disappearing so fast that force may be necessary to preserve it.” These questions tapped numerous supposed subdimensions of authoritarianism such as conventionalism, submission, and preoccupation with power, among others. This work became one of the most well-traveled lanes of the sociopsychological research highway.

Many different versions and reworkings of the idea have appeared in the literature (Robinson, Shaver, & Wrightsman, 2013). Adorno et al.'s version, as indicated by the use of the word “personality” in their title, sought to describe a psychological trait acquired very early in life. There were Freudian tinges to their analysis:

全文链接:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcom.12297/full
来源:Journal of Communication

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