More than a story : an exploration of political autobiography as persuasive discourse

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Gray, Robert John Stephen
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 1998
The epideictic discourse of political autobiography offers a powerful means of persuasion to attitude not otherwise available to politicians. In the extended narrative form of political autobiography, the audience's identification with characters, actions and speaker is central to persuasion. Narrative persuades implicitly by disposing the audience favourably to the rhetor and through the "common-sense assumptions" that the audience supplies in order to understand the discourse. The methodological approach used in this thesis, Fantasy Theme Analysis, addresses how the socialization process that is a primary function of epideictic rhetoric takes place. In the analysis, the rhetorical vision of the "game of politics" and two other fantasy themes are identified. The analysis demonstrates that an audience who identifies with this network of fantasy themes would also be influenced attitudinally and ideologically. The author concludes that political autobiography deserves further study because of its potentially important role in political persuasion.
vi, 95 leaves ; 29 cm
Autobiography -- Political aspects -- Canada , Persuasion (Rhetoric) , Rhetoric , Dissertations, Academic