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Legitimacy in the 2000 post-election campaign: Argumentative and rhetorical perspectives

Posted on:2003-08-07Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:Wayne State UniversityCandidate:Salinas, Christopher DavidFull Text:PDF
This dissertation isolates and identifies the rhetoric and argumentation associated with the 2000 Presidential election in Florida. The argument is made that rhetoric, from a number of sources, contributed to the creation of political legitimacy. Specific research questions are drawn. First, how were the candidate's forensic arguments decided by the courts and judges? Second, how were the candidates' appeals to the public and the courts characterized by The New York Times? Finally, how did the interplay of argumentation in the courts and in the media influence the perceived and actual legitimacy of the campaigns' respective claims to the presidency? Two artifacts are utilized: court decisions directly related to the election and news reports on the post-election campaign from The New York Times. Judicial arguments are evaluated as arguments from procedure through a historical-critical methodology. Kenneth Burke's framework of dramatism is used as a method to examine The New York Times' rhetorical framing of the post-election events. Specifically, metaphors are identified and evaluated using Burke's "Dictionary of Pivotal Terms." Describing the argumentative agency in terms of perspective by incongruity is used to draw conclusions about their effectiveness within the dramatic frame. To accomplish this, an examination of the metaphorical use of terms is suggested according to the Burkean framework. Initial findings indicate that communication plays a major role in the establishment of legitimacy. Furthermore, the research indicates that the framing of rhetoric and argumentation greatly affects the creation of legitimacy. Specific issues dealing with the 2000 election are also discussed.
Keywords/Search Tags:Rhetoric, Election, Legitimacy, Argumentation
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