Chapter 3. The map, the mirror and the simulacrum

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This article identifies the three metaphors of mirror, map and simulacrum as central for the political discourse in visual communication: Images designated as mirrors, such as documentaries, convince because they seem to reflect reality. Images designated as maps, such as advertisements, convince because they imply that they tell their observers something worth knowing. Poststructuralist criticism has deconstructed both the persuasion of mimesis and the persuasion of tellability. Deconstruction, however, does not seem to offer productive contributions in the political discourse of power and the negotiation of society’s values. Kukkonen thus suggests reconsidering the rhetorical strategies of the mirror and the map when discussing the role of images in political discourse.


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