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Just logical?: a comparative study of the use of different argument types in the presidential rhetoric of Barack Obama and George W. Bush
University West, Department of Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics.
University West, Department of Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to describe and compare similarities and differences between the presidential rhetoric of Barack Obama's and George W. Bush's State of the Union speeches. Using a comparative design, as well as using the substance of rhetoric as a merit and theories of classical rhetoric, a qualitative analysis is conducted to fulfill the aim of this research. The three classical artistic proofs: ethos, logos and pathos are key concepts for our analysis, where we compare their use within the different policy areas. The results of this thesis illustrate that despite studying so contrasting presidents, their rhetoric appears not in total opposition. In particular, the most predominant appeal in the policy area of defense, in Barack Obama's rhetoric, is to ethos, whereas pathos is in George W. Bush's rhetoric. Similarities between presidents were found in the policy area of social security, where the most used appeal of both is to ethos. Even though in the category of moral questions, the presidents addressed to different issues, we found evidence of pathos combined with ethos, in the speeches of Barack Obama, and pathos combined with logos in the chosen State of the Union speeches of George W. Bush.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 71 p.
Keyword [en]
George W. Bush, Barack Obama, party polarization, presidential rhetoric, the three artistic proofs
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-9575Local ID: EIS501OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-9575DiVA: diva2:948726
Subject / course
Political science
Educational program
IPPE
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-08-12 Created: 2016-07-13 Last updated: 2016-08-12Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf