This paper aims to examine the use of ideographs that represent the American Dream myth within the rhetoric of the 2012 presidential election. Five speech events are examined from the two primary candidates: Former Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Within these five speech event analyses, McGee’s (1980) concept of ideograph is the primary methodology in addition to Fisher’s (1984) narrative paradigm. After ideographic analysis of each candidate’s speech events, implications will be discussed about their political ideologies that are implied from each candidate’s ideographs as well as if they redefined or affirmed any notions of the American Dream myth. Additionally, implications will be drawn about the success (or not) of each candidate’s use of ideographs that represent the American Dream and what their narrative that incorporates the American Dream myth implies for the American public. This analysis finds that Obama’s use of ideographs that relate to the American Dream represent a version that is more egalitarian, focused on civic virtue, and collectivism, whereas Romney’s use of ideographs that represent the American Dream represent more materialistic components, individualism, and restrict access to specific demographics. With these two competing ideological versions of the American Dream, Obama’s proved to resonate with more Americans, as he was reelected as president. Finally, the concluding section of this paper discusses the reality of the American Dream and proposes possibly questions/directions for future rhetorical and critical research.
|Advisor:||Short, Calvin Brant|
|Commitee:||Schutten, Julie, Umphrey, Laura|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American studies, Marketing, Communication, Political science|
|Keywords:||2012 presidential campaign, Ideograph, Obama, Barack, Romney, Mitt|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be