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Persuasion and the Polls:
The Rhetorical Work of Objects and Bodies in the Philippine Elections

Philippine elections are rife with rhetorical discourses and performances. Here, political candidates occupy physical and digital stages to assume the role of a public speaker and deliver speeches before their audiences across the nation. These verbal acts contain the ideas and visions of candidates. They reflect, if not establish, their capacities and characteristics. Furthermore, they function as mechanisms for politicians to connect to their constituencies; stimulate the interest of their supporters and followers; and receive coverage from the mass media.

Though speeches are the primary mode through which politicians and their campaign teams communicate with others on the ground, they are certainly not the only one. There are, indeed, limitations in focusing exclusively on speeches in understanding how political candidacies come about and play out in the world. A text-centric imagination tends to overlook the nature of electoral campaigns as highly embodied activities that require more than scripts and speeches.


3 March 2022

Episode 2: Political Campaign Jingles and Songs

15 March 2022

Episode 4: Campaign- Related Texts

29 March 2022

Episode 6: Campaign-Related Gestures and

Bodily Behaviors

19 April 2022

Episode 1: The Role of Persuasive Communication in Philippine Political Campaigns

8 March 2022

Episode 3: Campaign-Related Visual Narratives

22 March 2022

Episode 5: Political Attires

5 April 2022

Episode 7: Political Account on

Social Media Platforms

26 April 2022

Persuasion and the Polls emphasizes the argument that political persuasion does not solely rest on verbal eloquence. As the 2022 general elections in the Philippines demonstrate, it is likewise generated through various material means and bodily techniques. What then are specific examples of such means and techniques? How do politicians deploy them in their campaigns, and for what purposes?

Through a series of recorded discussions featuring academics from the fields of communication, anthropology, music, film, literature, and clothing technology, Persuasion and the Polls probes into the ways in which objects and bodies aid in the construction, communication, and circulation of political identities. It further explores how they may evince a range of affects (from love, hope, admiration, rage, disgust, to despair), change the direction of public opinion, and not least, impact the results of the elections.

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