Perspectivation in Nigeria’s Political Visual Communication: A Social Semiotic Analysis

Rotimi Taiwo & Felicia Oamen

Abstract


Considering the fact that the use of visual resources in political communication is advancing globally, this paper discusses perspectivation as a social semiotic strategy deployed in selected Nigeria’s 2011 newspaper campaign advertisements. This is done with the goal of unveiling text producers’ deliberate visual representation of candidates and issues. Data comprise 60 full-page newspaper campaign adverts which were purposively selected in line with the research interest of the study. A critical analysis of the data was done using the analytical tools of Social Semiotics with insights from Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Findings show that newspapers create social space for advert producers to explore semiotic resources for power contestation in Nigeria. Producers deploy visual resources such as typography, metaphorisation, information value, framing, among others to represent political candidates positively/negatively respectively. Viewed against Nigeria’s fledging democratic background, the study concludes that newspaper advert visual representation of politicians is influential in citizens’ positive/negative perception of political candidates during campaigns because of its underlying ideologies which are strategically presented in naturalized advertising discourse.


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