Micro-targeting, the quantified persuasion – Keynote talk by Dr. Daniel Kreiss

We cordially invite you to the latest installment of the the RPA Personalised Communication Lecture Series, which is being given by Dr. Daniel Kreiss as the closing Keynote of the Amsterdam Symposium on Political Micro-Targeting.


Micro-targeting, the quantified persuasion

 Dr. Daniel Kreiss (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Taking Michael Schudson’s insightful Advertising, The Uneasy Persuasion as a starting point, Daniel Kreiss’s talk is about the history, industries, practices, technologies, and culture of political micro-targeting. Focusing on the U.S. context, it discusses how political micro-targeting developed as an industry and set of practices and technologies distinct from mass media advertising in two primary ways: the ability to make targeted appeals to multiple publics and the direct quantification of their effects. It argues that the quantification at the heart of micro-targeting has brought new actors to the fore of contemporary politics, from practitioners with specialized skills and fluid careers in commercial and political industries to specialized political consultancies and social media firms that facilitate targeting, experimentation, and the measurement of effects. The talk concludes by arguing, building from Schudson, that micro-targeting has an ‘aesthetic of political realism,’ one that celebrates partisan conflict, moral certainty, and political agonism. While micro-targeting did not create these values, it reinforces them and makes them readily available for citizens as a framework for understanding democracy. Persistent normative concern over micro-targeting, meanwhile, expresses uneasiness with the broader workings of contemporary democracy and a longing for alternative citizenship practices.


Brief Bio:
Daniel Kreiss is Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Journalism and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kreiss’s research explores the impact of technological change on the public sphere and political practice. In Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford University Press, 2012), Kreiss presents the history of new media and Democratic Party political campaigning over the last decade


Date & time:

Friday, September 22, 16.00-17.30 hours

REC C10.20, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam


If you plan to come, please register by sending an e-mail to K.H.Hair@UVA.nl