Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The Obama Model and Britain : a doxological inquiry into the rhetoric and reception of strategic identification in the 2008 American presidential election
Author: Delp, Robert Kyle
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 0819
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis measures the rhetoric and effect of political campaign discourse. It is a rhetorical analysis of three campaign speeches given by Senator Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election, "A More Perfect Union" delivered in March 2008, "The American Promise" delivered at the Democratic National Convention in August 2008 and "A World that Stands as One" delivered in Berlin in July 2008. Reading the speech teleologically by drawing on Kenneth Burke's theory of rhetorical identification and consubstantiality, this thesis argues the Obama Model of persuasion constructs audience identity and uses specific strands of an audience's history to emphasise common ground, shared values and shared interests in provisional coalitions against common challenges. This is accomplished through the strategic use of "we," through the praise of an audience's dominant symbols and values and through scapegoating, Othering and antithesis. As a multidisciplinary study, this thesis seeks to understand how these messages and strategies are received by audiences using focus groups and audience response technology. It convenes twelve focus groups of previously unaddressed audiences in the United Kingdom to understand the doxological equipment audiences bring to the rhetorical transaction of American political campaign discourse. As such, it seeks to understand moments of convergence and divergence, identification and division between demographically diverse audiences and Obama's campaign speeches. This thesis is an original contribution to rhetorical theory, identity and identification, studies on Kenneth Burke and Barack Obama, cultural studies and Joseph Nye's theory of soft power in international relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; JC Political theory ; JK Political institutions (United States)