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CAMPAIGNS AMID THE STORM: DRAMATISM IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND MEDIA

Hull, Christopher (2020) CAMPAIGNS AMID THE STORM: DRAMATISM IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND MEDIA. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

This study uses Kenneth Burke’s dramatism theory of communication as a useful tool in the analysis of presidential campaigns, particularly, those held during times of escalating tensions related to domestic racial strife and our nation’s war footing, both home and abroad. The primary use of dramatism in this analysis is reinforced by two additional theories to identify the role of an expanding media in our electoral process. The first is dramaturgy, the sociological perspective of Erving Goffman, a social scientist inspired by Burke’s work. The second is the elaboration likelihood model (ELM), developed by Richard E. Petty and John Cacioppo, to focus on potential sources and causes of the polarizing effect of political partisanship, as evidenced through the media and public polling. The foundation of Kenneth Burke’s dramatism theory focuses on the concept of human motivation. In other words, the what, where, who, how, and why people make choices that subsequently affect behavior. These five elements form the points of his “pentad,” a visualization of interconnecting rhetorical principles. Furthermore, Burke believed that life followed the structure of fictional drama, attempting to understand how motivation generates action and rhetorical discourse.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Burke, dramatism, pentad, Goffman, dramaturgy, Petty, Cacioppo, elaboration likelihood model, ELM, quadrennial, campaign, debate, media, photography, radio, newsreel, television, social media.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Christopher Hull
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 14:23
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 14:23
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/636

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