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Someone to Talk to: Conversations Between Friends in a Junior High Lunch Room

Description: Quantitative studies dominate early adolescence research, a field which also lacks an understanding of communication behaviors between early adolescents. This study uses the qualitative methods of participant observation and informal interviews to observe conversations between girls in a junior high lunch room. Friendship characteristics and group socialization are discussed as they emerged from the field data. First, friendship hierarchies (best friend, close friend, and friend) may be adult-imposed structures. Hierarchies are not prominent in the minds of friends as they relate to each other in daily conversation. Second, friendship groups serve to socialize early adolescent girls.
Date: December 1990
Creator: Adams, Brenda Inglis

Heresy vs. Orthodoxy: The Preus/Tietjen Controversy

Description: Using the framework set up by rhetorical critic Thomas M. Lessl in his article "Heresy, Orthodoxy, And The Politics Of Science", this study examines the ways in which heretical discourse defines community boundaries and shapes perceptions of right belief. Specifically, this study analyzes the historic conflict in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which produced the doctrinal statement "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles". Comparison is made between this event and other "heretical" conflicts in other discourse communities. This study concludes that community boundaries must be drawn, and that a doctrinal or policy statement is a useful rhetorical tool to accomplish such a task. Rhetorical critics may assist in this by examining heretical conflicts as historical trends, rather than emotional dissonance.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Barnhart, Melody R. (Melody Ruth)

"The Politics of Restoration": the Rhetorical Vision of Camelot and Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 Campaign

Description: This study critically analyzed four selected campaign speeches by Robert Kennedy from his 1968 campaign to determine his use of the Camelot myth and his success in portraying himself as the heir apparent to the Kennedy legend. Using procedures adapted from fantasy theme analysis, the rhetorical vision of Camelot was outlined, and the fantasy themes and fantasy types within it were determined. The public persona of Robert Kennedy was also evaluated. Throughout the speeches analyzed, Robert Kennedy invoked themes identified within the rhetorical vision of Camelot. In addition to his own themes of social justice and reconciliation, Kennedy promoted his brother's legend. Chaining evidence provided proof of the public's participation in the rhetorical vision demonstrating Kennedy's success with these themes.
Date: December 1989
Creator: Martin, Marilyn Ann, 1959-

An Analysis of Propaganda in the Yellow Rain Controversy

Description: The use of arguments containing increasingly technical materials has grown significantly in the recent years. Specifically, arguments that are used to justify military expenditures or to allege violations of international agreements are becoming more sophisticated. This study examines the dissemination and use of technical argument in claims made by the United States government that the Soviet Union violated chemical and biological treaties in Southeast Asia and Afghanistan. This study employs the Jowett-O'Donnell method for analyzing propaganda to determine the extent and effectiveness of the government's claims. The study concludes that propaganda was used extensively by the government in order to justify new weapons programs and that the propaganda campaign was effective because of the technological orientation of its claims.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Rollins, Joel D. (Joel David)

The Rhetoric of Spiro T. Agnew: a Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of Agnew's Views Concerning the Media

Description: In November 1969, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew delivered two speeches attacking two mediums. In the first speech, Agnew initiated charges of erroneous reporting and irresponsible actions on the part of the television networks. In the second speech, Agnew assailed the concentration of power in the hands of a few newspaper companies. In both cases, complaints and support were immediate and substantial. This study employs the Neo-Aristotelian method of criticism to discover: 1) the extent to which Agnew was influenced by his past, and 2) how Agnew's rhetoric exhibited methods of rhetorical polarization. This study concludes that Agnew's past played a dominant role in his rhetoric. Further research in a variety of related areas is suggested.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Voorhees, Blain E. (Blain Eldon)