Semiotics and political discourse in the post-truth era

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Walter de Gruyter GmbH

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The concept of post-truth has been on the world’s agenda since 2016. Perhaps this concept, which is frequently encountered in political life, provides the speaker with a freer speaking platform. Politicians, instead of presenting the reality to their constituents as it is, want to reshape this reality according to their own ideology and present it to the recipient. Politicians have certain objectives in creating such a virtual reality. These aims can be listed as keeping the voters, increasing the voting potential, and attracting undecided voters to their favor. The common result of all these aims is to gain political power or to remain in the existing power. Post-truth reality is constructed relatively more easily in social media environments. The construction of reality can be through beliefs or emotions. In such ways, the recipient is tried to be persuaded, and thus behavioral change is achieved. One of the most necessary subjects for this artificial reality atmosphere is the anti-subject. The idea that the anti-subject does not know the truth that we (you and I) know and believe and is trying to destroy it is the main theme of post-truth discourse. Politicians try to persuade the voters to believe in their own truth by expressing this idea to them. There are many examples of this around the world. In this study, firstly, the concept of post-truth is examined and its various definitions are discussed. The distinctions between the concepts of real and truth are analyzed and then it is explained how and for what purposes the concept of post-truth is used in politics. Following the comparison of post-truth and fake news, the concept is discussed within the framework of sender-receiver interaction in terms of communication. The concept is tried to be elucidated with the modalities such as /convincing/, /believing/, /being/, /appearing/. Besides, using the semiotic square, the study also tries to reveal the different purposes and forms of use of the concept of post-truth. As a result, it has been observed that the concept of post-truth is effective in many areas of contemporary societies, and rather than real information, expected and desired information has become more important.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Semiotics, Discourse, Politics, Post-truth, Fake news


Language and Semiotic Studies

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