Political Reading Artifacts

A Conceptual Approach on Characterizing a Certain Way of Reading

  • Axel Kuhn Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Keywords: political reading, political magazine design, reading research, multimodality, materiality


Empirical reading research lacks informed distinctions among different ways of reading, which often leads to generalized and superficial conclusions about the functionality of reading in society. This is also the case for political communication, which defines reading most often simply as the mental processing of textual political information. This article proposes a more elaborated, interdisciplinary framework to distinguish political reading as ‘different’ from other ways of reading based on common attributes of their reading objects. Thereby, political reading processes, demeanors, strategies, activities, and practices are induced as ‘political’ by pre-arranged combinations of typical communicative and material objects and designs.