Understanding the Concept of Celebrity Capital through an Empirical Study of the Role of Celebrity Political Endorsements in 2008 and 2012 Ghana Election Campaigns

2017-03-21T16:55:12Z (GMT) by Lawrencia Agyepong
Research on political marketing in Africa in general and Ghana in particular has focused little attention on the use of celebrity political endorsement in election campaigns. At the same time, prior research on the use of celebrity political endorsements in election campaigns has predominantly focused on Western democracies and the application of marketing brand theories to the examination of celebrity political endorsement. Such research studies include very little investigation on new and emerging democracies, especially in Africa while the theories have proven inadequate to explain how the persuasive qualities of celebrities are utilized within the political field. This thesis, like Driessens (2013) is advocating that theorising celebrity as a form of capital can explain the qualities of celebrity which can be transferred across social fields including the political field. At the same time the socio-political conditions that enable celebrities to migrate from the entertainment to the political field are specific to their national and historical contexts (Ribke 2015) as presented in the Ghana context. The study therefore examines theories of celebrity capital and how this capital is utilized in the form of political endorsements in the political field of an emerging democracy like Ghana. The thesis enhances the arguments about how theories of celebrity capital can be used to explain the role of celebrity political endorsements in shaping political communication and political marketing during election campaigns while providing the socio-political conditions that shape celebrity migration into the political field in Ghana.

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