I. Palitai (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Lomonosov Moscow State University, 27–4, Lomonosovskii Prosp., Moscow, 119192, Russian Federation
Political images formed in the mass consciousness largely determine not only the attitude of citizens to various political events and objects, but influence their political behavior as well. By the fact that new-day (modern) politics is becoming more and more virtual, we cannot underestimate the influence of mass media communication on the formation of these images. To be sure, the contextual factor, which includes situational changes taking place in the political arena both in and outside the country, is the determining factor for the content of the information that comes from the mass media, and political images are formed in the mass consciousness on the basis of it respectively. The author had an endeavor to analyze the transformation of communicative images of power and political leaders in the Great Britain under the influence of Brexit, i.e. during the period from 2014 to 2017. Since the main economic partners of the country are the U.S. and the EU, the material for content analysis came from the main news channels in these countries: American CNN and Fox News, as well as the European Euronews and France 24. The study was conducted and developed by the Department of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Faculty of Political Science at the Lomonosov Moscow State University after methodology, according to which the image of the country structurally contains images of the territory, people, government, political leaders, “friends” and “enemies”. Each of these images was evaluated on the scale of strength and weakness, attractiveness and unattractiveness, activity and passivity, before and after the Brexit. The study showed that the image of power, regardless of the country of media residence, is undergoing minor changes. The geographical parameter as well as the political leader and the people political images have experienced the greatest transformation in the US and EU media reports of 2014–2017. Thus, if the image of a political leader changes in association with a changing composition of the UK Government, the transformation of the UK’s spatial-geographical image and that of the British people carries a fundamental character and is accompanied by a change of perception attitudes, political mythology, the accentuation of different stereotypes within the mass consciousness, the formation of images of “alien” and “enemy,” the conflict of attitudes in political behavior. The materials of the European media demonstrate that territorial and ethnic components determine the current image of the UK and, consequently, the relationship between Britain and the EU amid new forms of the European space organization and European policy. The data obtained during the research not only give us the idea about the current image broadcasted by mass media but also let us reveal both psychological mechanisms of the image formation and the limits of mass media influence on the citizens. In practice, such data can determine the validity of the changes that a country needs to take to create its branding and communication strategy.
Great Britain, perception, image of the country, research, content analysis, media, Brexit
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