Images and symbols in public communications

Proceedings of The 6th International Academic Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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Images and symbols in public communications

Jana Tombu



The purpose of this article is to research the use of images and symbols in public communications, and techniques of their application as an instrument of forming the desired ideological models within social consciousness, as well as to consider the principles of social psychology that enable successful application of political manipulation technologies to the target audience by appealing to their image thinking. The applied methods of the research are: socio-cultural, historical, and content analysis. The article follows the historical development of using images and symbols in public communications, from the very emergence of these techniques originated in Ancient Greece to modern times, and focuses on particularly vivid historical examples of altering masses’ perception of the global picture by affecting their feelings and emotions via symbols that resonate (i.e., the French Revolution, the Third Reich), in attempt to explain these phenomena by the operation principles of technologies applied in marketing – cognitive links that create instant positive or negative associations in human consciousness. The main results of this paper are illustrations of manipulative mechanisms of influencing social opinion, and controlling the masses’ political behavior by ingraining relevant images and symbols in public consciousness with the aid of mass media, political literature, and public speeches.

keywords:  images; political manipulations; public communications; social consciousness; symbols.