Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7302-6389

Location

Room 3

Document Type

Paper

Keywords

presidential debates, gendered double bind, strategic maneuvering

Start Date

5-6-2020 11:00 AM

End Date

5-6-2020 12:00 PM

Abstract

The purpose of our paper is to explore how the double-bind faced by female candidates for office provides a basis for interpreting nonverbal behavior in the 2016 Presidential Debates. In the television and video age, televised arguers leverage not only their language but also coordinate their nonverbal behaviors to repeat, reinforce, and substitute for verbal arguments. Video broadcasts, especially split-screen shots, provide the audience an opportunity to observe candidates’ gestures, posture, and facial expressions and to use this information to draw inferences about candidates’ character and, to a lesser extent, their policy positions. Research by the Barbara Lee Foundation, psychological science, and argumentation scholars point to a double standard in audience interpretations of nonverbal behavior by male and female politicians. 2016 was the first time a male faced a female in a U.S. Presidential campaign. Our analysis will rely primarily on strategic maneuvering as a basis for understanding the ways in which the double-bind inhibited Hillary Clinton’s strategic choices, particularly in her presentational devices, in the 2016 debates.

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Jun 5th, 11:00 AM Jun 5th, 12:00 PM

Exploring Gendered Nonverbal Behavior in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Debates

Room 3

The purpose of our paper is to explore how the double-bind faced by female candidates for office provides a basis for interpreting nonverbal behavior in the 2016 Presidential Debates. In the television and video age, televised arguers leverage not only their language but also coordinate their nonverbal behaviors to repeat, reinforce, and substitute for verbal arguments. Video broadcasts, especially split-screen shots, provide the audience an opportunity to observe candidates’ gestures, posture, and facial expressions and to use this information to draw inferences about candidates’ character and, to a lesser extent, their policy positions. Research by the Barbara Lee Foundation, psychological science, and argumentation scholars point to a double standard in audience interpretations of nonverbal behavior by male and female politicians. 2016 was the first time a male faced a female in a U.S. Presidential campaign. Our analysis will rely primarily on strategic maneuvering as a basis for understanding the ways in which the double-bind inhibited Hillary Clinton’s strategic choices, particularly in her presentational devices, in the 2016 debates.