Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Donileen Loseke, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Benford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rachel May, Ph.D.

Keywords

Dramaturgy, Emotion, Identity, Narrative, Politics, Television

Abstract

In this paper, I build on the assumption that collective emotional experience plays an important role in sustaining the group identity central to nation-making processes inspired by charismatic leaders. This analysis is based on a case study of the Venezuelan government after the death of Hugo Chávez. I examine ways in which elements of the leader’s narrative are used by his successors after his death. I also argue that the current political actors of the bureaucratized Revolutionary Government of Venezuela are attempting to sustain popular support by reaffirming a national identity that resonated among the masses largely due to the charisma of a now absent leader. I wish to explore the probability or lack thereof of a sustained emotional connection of the government regime with the mass audience.

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