Bo Delp - BA (Texas Tech University), MA (Cardiff)
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
Obama and Britain: Rhetoric, Identification, Doxology
American presidential campaigns have long been studied as democratic exercises in image making, rhetoric and judgment. Despite decades of acute globalization, most campaign studies are confined to the individual nation-state. While the 2008 Presidential Election saw mass mobilization as Obama built an unprecedented grassroots network at home, global encounters with Obama and the American election were also unprecedented.
This research rhetorically analyzes three of Obama’s most significant campaign speeches triangulated with twelve focus groups of various communities in Britain using audience response technology to measure audience interpretation of political campaign content. Drawing heavily upon Kenneth Burke’s theory of identification, this thesis seeks to balance the intrinsic mechanics of the text with its extrinsic effects, rhetorical interpretation with audience reception.
The findings of this thesis have profound implications for those interested in the global public sphere, rhetoric and audience reception studies, international relations and public diplomacy and national identity.
Keywords: Obama, national identity, identification, rhetoric, Kenneth Burke, audience reception