How political personality cults are created through political narratives during campaigns in Kenya

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Abstract for Research Paper New Media Use in Political Communication During Electoral Processes.


The purpose of this study is to interrogate how political personality cults are created through narratives during campaigns in Kenya. Personality cult is a widely applied concept in politics. It refers to a situation in which a public figure such as a political leader is deliberately presented to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved. A cult of personality uses various techniques, including mass media, propaganda, arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create a heroic image of a leader, often inviting worshipful behavior through uncritical flattery and praise, an art that Kenyan politicians have mastered. The questions answered in this article are: what is a personality cult? Do we have political personality cults in Kenya? How do political personality cults create political narratives during campaigns? Since no studies have been done in respect to this study, there is need to interrogate this phenomenon. The study relied on descriptive research design and was premised on Thomas Carlyle great man theory. The theory helps to explain the impact of highly influential and unique individuals who due to their natural attributes have a decisive historical effect. Purposive sampling was used to select the data in this case the selected political narratives in Kenya. Textual and content analysis were the main form of data analysis in the study. The study findings are useful to political parties and political communication during election campaigns.
Key Terms: Politics, Cult, Personality cult, Campaigns.

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