The problem of image has been actualized due to the growing alternatives to the choice of goods, services, or political parties and leaders. An effective image is essential for any type of business.
The image of a leader can be defined as a certain form of reflection of an object in the eyes of citizens. It has a number of characteristics and is fixed in the form of a stereotype.
Historical origins of the term "image"
Officially, the science of imageology appeared only in the 90s. One of its definitions is the science of how to please people. However, people were interested in the problem of forming a positive image even in ancient times. So, earlier this was expressed in the tradition of assigning beautiful names to rulers: Philip the Handsome, Yaroslav the Wise, Richard the Lionheart. During the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna, censorship of the Empress's portraits existed and there was an established sample of her image.
Among political scientists, although the term “image” itself was not used, much attention was paid to describing the image of an ideal leader. So, the works of N. Machiavelli "The Emperor" and G. Lebon "Psychology of Socialism" are devoted to this. Machiavelli argued for the importance of a politician's possession of an appropriate "mask". Le Bon understood the meaning of forming an effective image as a means of achieving success.
The term "image" itself came from economics in the middle of the last century, when the American economist Baldwing justified its importance for the success of the company. It was originally used in similar product branding and commercial advertising. Later it spread to other spheres - political, social. Formation of an image corresponding to the ideal ideas of the population about the traits of a political leader is today an integral part of the election campaign.
Publications about the image interpret it as a technology for creating a certain image in the individual, group or mass consciousness. It is used to achieve specific goals. For example, loyalty to the brand, increasing the recognition of a leader, his victory in elections, etc.
In the USSR, the term image was also used. True, mostly in a negative context as a means in the hands of the bourgeoisie to manipulate the mass consciousness. The attitude towards the image has changed in post-Soviet Russia. At the same time, a special profession appeared - an image maker, which was aimed at constructing the image of individuals, politicians or companies. Such assistants are in high demand among show business stars.
The structure and function of the image
Today, image is a multifaceted concept that performs various functions and has a complex structure. Certain areas of imageology are included in the subject of study of such sciences as theory and practice of advertising, public relations, etc.
In the structure of the image, three components can be distinguished: image-knowledge, image-meaning and image-forecast. The image-knowledge concentrates information about the object, the image-meaning is responsible for the opinion that has developed in relation to the political subject. It, in turn, influences the image-forecast or the image of the required future.
G. Pocheptsov distinguishes several classes in the structure of the image, based on its purpose. So, from the point of view of functionality, a mirror image is distinguished, current (or visible from the outside), desired (or ideal), corporate, multiple (the image of independent structures in a single corporation), as well as negative (which is created by competitors or opponents). By type of activity, the image of a politician, the image of a star, etc. are distinguished.
Image performs a number of important functions. From the point of view of the subjects of perception, this is evaluative (judgments about an object reflect a certain identification, a system of values of individuals) and cognitive (it serves as a kind of standard or framework of correlation for understanding the world around us).
From the point of view of the object, an uplifting function is distinguished (creating an aura of attractiveness around the personality), the function of interpersonal adaptation, highlighting the best and shading negative personal and business qualities, the function of overcoming age lines. Therefore, the one who owns the functional of the image also has the art of location.