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The reverend, the terrorist, and a web of rumors : the image repair discourse of Barack Obama

Author: Corey B Davis; William L Benoit
Publisher: Columbia, Mo. : University of Missouri--Columbia, 2009.
Dissertation: Ph. D. University of Missouri--Columbia 2009.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama faced numerous attacks on his character, and on his associations. He was attacked most prominently for his associations with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. Obama's faith, citizenship, and patriotism were also challenged. This study employs image repair theory to analyze Obama's image repair discourse in a variety of messages. Notably, Obama's  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Electronic dissertations
Electronic books
Named Person: Barack Obama; Jeremiah A Wright, Jr.; William Ayers
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Corey B Davis; William L Benoit
OCLC Number: 723183158
Notes: Title from PDF of title page (University of Missouri--Columbia, viewed on Sept. 28, 2010).
The entire thesis text is included in the research.pdf file; the official abstract appears in the short.pdf file; a non-technical public abstract appears in the public.pdf file.
Dissertation advisor: Dr. William L. Benoit.
Vita.
Description: 1 online resource (ix, 305 p.)
Responsibility: by Corey B. Davis.

Abstract:

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama faced numerous attacks on his character, and on his associations. He was attacked most prominently for his associations with Reverend Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. Obama's faith, citizenship, and patriotism were also challenged. This study employs image repair theory to analyze Obama's image repair discourse in a variety of messages. Notably, Obama's internet-based image discourse in response to faith, citizenship, and patriotism attacks received unique analysis in this study. Through rhetorical analysis, this study found that Obama used the strategies of simple denial, shifting the blame, defeasibility, bolstering, minimization, differentiation, transcendence, attack accuser, and corrective action to respond to the Wright attacks. To respond to the Ayers attacks, Obama used simple denial, defeasibility, bolstering, differentiation, transcendence, and attack accuser. Obama used simple denial, accident, bolstering, attack accuser, differentiation, minimization, and transcendence in his various internet defenses. An important theoretical contribution of this study is the idea that kairos, or opportune timing of messages with respect to the rhetorical situation, should be an important consideration in the analysis apologia. Generally, Obama's image repair efforts were found to be kairotically effective. Assessment of overall effectiveness was confirmed using the criteria of media coverage, surveys, and internal consistency.

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