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A Functional Approach to Political Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  7 during the official campaign period (from November 1, 1997 to December 10, 1997). Using the functional theory of political discourse, this study examines how functions (acclaim, attack, and defense) interact with topics (policy, character), forms of policy and character, and incumbent/challenger status. Because no previous study has analyzed Korean presidential advertisements based on this theory, the research questions and the hypotheses are drawn from findings of previous studies of U.S. presidential advertisements. Previous research on campaign discourse indicates that acclaims were the most frequent function, followed by attacks and then by defenses; policy was more frequently discussed than character (Beniot 1999). H1. Acclaims are more frequent than attacks, which are more common than defenses. H2. Policy is a more common topic than character. While most previous studies categorize topics into two subcategories: issue (policy) and image (character), the functional theory of political campaign discourse divides policy utterances (past deeds, future plans, general goals) and character (personal qualities, leadership ability, and ideals (Benoit 1997). This elaboration will effectively explain the nature of the political campaign in South Korea. Thus, one research question is posed. RQ1. What strategies of acclaim, attack, and defense will the candidates use?

Authors: Lee, Cheolhan. and Choi, Yun Jung.
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during the official campaign period (from November 1, 1997 to December 10, 1997).
Using the functional theory of political discourse, this study examines how functions
(acclaim, attack, and defense) interact with topics (policy, character), forms of policy and
character, and incumbent/challenger status. Because no previous study has analyzed
Korean presidential advertisements based on this theory, the research questions and the
hypotheses are drawn from findings of previous studies of U.S. presidential
advertisements. Previous research on campaign discourse indicates that acclaims were
the most frequent function, followed by attacks and then by defenses; policy was more
frequently discussed than character (Beniot 1999).
H1. Acclaims are more frequent than attacks, which are more common than
defenses.
H2. Policy is a more common topic than character.
While most previous studies categorize topics into two subcategories: issue
(policy) and image (character), the functional theory of political campaign discourse
divides policy utterances (past deeds, future plans, general goals) and character (personal
qualities, leadership ability, and ideals (Benoit 1997). This elaboration will effectively
explain the nature of the political campaign in South Korea. Thus, one research question
is posed.
RQ1. What strategies of acclaim, attack, and defense will the candidates use?


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