Charismatic personalities have the ability to charm and attract supporters. Politicians' ability to garner public support is vital to electoral outcomes in a democratic system like the United States. This topic stems from German sociologist Max Weber's theory on types of legitimate domination in his book, "Economy and Society." Weber hypothesizes that power is legitimized in three forms: traditional authority, rational-legal authority, and charismatic authority. Charismatic authority leaders gain power through their extraordinary personality and the qualities they possess justify their ability to lead. Charisma is a renewed force, and examples of charismatic leadership ranges from religious founders like Jesus Christ and Islamic Prophet Muhammad to the 1960s criminal cult leader Charles Manson. Politicians may possess an authentically charismatic personality, but they also have the ability to adopt political techniques that make them appear charismatic. This phenomenon is known as synthetic charisma, the ability for a political candidate to construct a charismatic personality in their campaigns and through the media through artificial means. Furthermore, if the significance of charismatic authority can be understood by female leaders, this has the potential to help increase leadership representation among women. The purpose of this research is to examine why charisma matters in today's social and political environment, how campaigns and the media interact to socially construct charisma, and how the power of charisma can be harnessed to support female leadership.
Do You Approve this Abstract?