Hybrid Myths in Contemporary Politics: Mythological Analysis of Barak Obama Brand

Document Type : Research Article


1 Professor, Alzahra University, Department of Art, Tehran, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Alzahra University, Department of Art, Tehran, Iran.


Problem Statement: In globalization and post-colonialism literature, hybridity describes a process of composing elements from different cultures to reach a hybrid identity. This process is rooted in ancient mythology and dates back to Egypt and Mesopotamia. However, the confrontation between globalization and civilization has accelerated this process due to communication speed and information accumulation. In addition, myths continue to live in the contemporary world, and we can follow their trace in contemporary culture. Therefore, it is necessary for cultural studies to demythize contemporary myths.
Research Objective: Accordingly, we can claim that hybrid myth plays a significant role in contemporary socio-political sphere. The present study’s objective was to analyze the mythological patterns in the present political sphere regarding one of the contemporary myths, brand of Barak Obama. This paper aimed to answer two questions: What semiological pattern under brand Obama makes it a hybrid myth? Which historical and political realities are distorted by this myth?
Research Method: The methodology of mythological analysis was derived from Roland Barthes’s pattern of myth in the language system. Accordingly, the brand of Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election campaign was analyzed based on Barthes’s model.
Conclusion: The brand of Barak Obama is a hybrid myth constituted of various racial and cultural signs. From one hand, this hybrid sign deviates the history of slavery in the United States and on the other hand, by depicting America as a liberal country with a democratic government, this myth conceals global dissatisfactions with this country’s belligerent policies.


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