Gender and power in the 2022 presidential campaign in France
The presidential election is a special circumstance when one person meets the people, said once the Centrist leader François Bayrou in a speech given the 1st of March 2007 during the presidential campaign. This quote has been retaken by many other politicians and it was sometimes attributed to the général de Gaulle. But after eight men who were presidents in the fifth Republic in France, it can be interesting to think about the strategy used by women to attempt to become presidents. How do they legitimize their place in a masculine political landscape? What is their storytelling in terms of leadership in a personalized election? By using the framework of critical discourse analysis, we will focus on three candidates, Valérie Pécresse, Marine Le Pen and Anne Hidalgo. How did these candidates present themselves to the electors in order to rule the country? By using the typology of Amossy with the notion of ethos (2010), we will analyze the books published by and on the candidates during the election. The prior ethos is linked to the reputation of the person whereas the discursive ethos reflects the performance of the candidate, who tries to react, correct or empower the prior ethos. Did the three candidates modify their ethos in order to have a new leadership?The publication of books has a marginal effect on the campaign, but it helps the authors to polish their image. The corpus will be completed with some important speeches delivered by the candidates during the campaign.
The presentation was made under the conference "The Power(s) of Language - Negotiating Voice and Recognition" which was held on 17 and 18 June 2022 at Stockholm University.