Critics point out how the emphasis on image in politics replaces political substance with superficial style. The use of images to convey a political message is seen as a lower or even fraudulent form of political rhetoric. However, symbolic interaction actors would be aware that the ability to assign convincing political significance is a multi-level communication process. Defining what is essential and what is not is an essential element of political communication. Deluca (1999) argues that the staging of image events allows groups such as environmental social movements to move out of the political communication process by imposing responsibility for the political communication process. In the language of Greenpeace founder Robert Hunter, these are events that take the form of visual images that “explode into the public consciousness to change the way people see their world” (quoted in Deluca in 1999, p. 1). The use of inflatable boats to get between whaling vessels and whales is a striking example of an image event that produces a visceral effect on the public. Sociologists are generally more interested in the underlying social factors that contribute to the evolution of political demand than in the day-to-day strategies of political supply. An influential theory suggests that, since the 1960s, current political preferences have shifted from older and materialistic concerns of economic growth and physical security (i.e. survival values) to quality of life issues: personal autonomy, self-representation, environmental integrity, women`s rights, gay rights, relevance of work, habitability of cities, etc. (Ingle 2008).
Since the 1970s, post-materialist social movements, which want to broaden the scope of personal autonomy and freedom of expression, have similarly clashed with the post-materialistic reactions of neoconservative groups that are committed to reconnecting with traditional family values, religious fundamentalism, submission to work discipline and muscular initiatives against crime. This has led to a new structure of post-materialistic division in political preferences. to reach agreement on an issue, that the public had differing views on terrorism, the use of force against civilians and institutions to achieve political objectives [Press release updated on 26/03/2019 to insert the link to the text of the provisional agreement] Chart 17.14 in Figure 17.14 deals with a central axis of the distribution of voter preferences and the distribution of limited resources in society. At the right end of the spectrum, there are economic conservatives who advocate minimum taxation and a purely spontaneous and competitive market mechanism for the distribution of wealth and basic services (including health care and education), while at the left end of the spectrum, there are socialists who advocate progressive taxes and a redistribution of wealth and services by the state to create social equality or “equality.” A second axis of the division of electoral preference is linked to social policy and “collective decision-making. At the right end of the spectrum is authoritarianism (law and order, limits of personal autonomy, exclusive citizenship, hierarchical decision-making, etc.), while at the left end of the spectrum is individual autonomy or the expanded democratization of political processes (maximum individual autonomy in politics and culture, equal rights, including citizenship, non-parliamentary democratic participation, etc.).