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Perspectives in Communication Studies

Festschrift in Honor of Prof. Dr. Ayseli Usluata

Edited By Ayşe Binay Kurultay and Burcu Sabuncuoğlu Peksevgen

This book brings together friends and colleagues of Prof. Dr. Ayseli Usluata who cherish her as a person as well as an academic. As we have all experienced, Prof. Usluata’s major passion is advancing academia as an interdisciplinary collaboration. Thus, this book’s aim is to bring together current original works in communication studies and business communication fields. This volume is intended to provide an intellectual, multi-faceted and balanced collection of writings from various academic fields with a communication focus. Academic articles in this book range from branding cases to advertising studies and to media education.

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Burcu Sabuncuoğlu Peksevgen - Political Cartoon’s Symbolic Lynching Power

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Burcu Sabuncuoğlu Peksevgen

Political Cartoon’s Symbolic Lynching Power

Political Satire and Symbolic Lynching

Cartoons persuade, instruct, admonish, surprise, politicize, but mostly entertain the reader. With the advantage of speed and the dangers of haste (Harrison, 1981), cartoons can easily and clearly make a point yet are open to misunderstandings. They simplify and exaggerate which gives them the advantages of clarity as well as the disadvantages of distortion. Humor amuses the reader yet might also create diversion. Westin suggests that the oldest known political cartoon dates back to 1360 B.C. This exceptional work was an uncomplimentary drawing of King Tutankhamen’s father. Thus it is possible to say that political cartoons have a 3370-year history.

Apart from the cartoons drawn with the sole purpose of being humorous, political cartoons embody a more socially critical intention. These critical natures of political cartoons have never been popular with the party in power. Politicians traditionally are afraid of being ridiculed through cartoons. Three aspects of cartoons are suggested as reasons for this fear: The ability of cartoons to clarify complex issues as a simple metaphor, since they can be thought of as two-dimensional representations of a three-dimensional world. As most cartoons exaggerate the subject’s features, they have a savage ability to show unflattering caricature. And lastly, cartoons are available to audiences who may not be politically aware. Thus, being criticized in a caricature that reaches a wide audience is fearful for politicians throughout...

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