crs183 paper 3

crs183 paper 3 - Bobby Krivitsky Katie Lind CRS 183 April...

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Bobby Krivitsky Katie Lind CRS 183 April 24, 2011 “Yes We Can” In the 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama used incredibly persuasive rhetoric along with powerful and emotionally charged speeches to capture the hearts of the American public. Barack Obama set out on a mission to return America to its glory days and along the way, become the first African American president in United States history. Obama used celebrities, he used patriotism, and he used rhetoric in order to persuade and inspire the American public to give him the task of saving the country. To understand why Barack Obama’s campaign was so effective, one must understand the concepts and strategies Obama used throughout his campaign. The concepts and strategies used by Barack Obama can be directly traced back to modern rhetorician Kenneth Burke. Kenneth Burke was a literary critic and is widely regarded as the most important rhetorical theorist of the twentieth century. Burke’s main influences were Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche. What Burke took from Freud was the concept of language as a window into our unconscious. What he took from Nietzsche was the fact that language acculturates to particular orientations. (Demo 3/28). Burke used these concepts to carefully observe language and how individuals tend to view language, thus affecting how they interpret messages. Over time, Kenneth Burke changed his approach from a psychological concept that must be inferred to a vocabulary concept that can actually be observed. (Demo 3/28). Kenneth Burke focused a lot of his attention on
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persuasion and identification, which ironically play the two biggest roles in Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” video. One concept that Burke believed a large role in persuasion was terministic screens. Terministic screens help us to make sense of and understand the world. Terministic screens persuade us and help to shape our opinions. Another concept that Kenneth Burke focused on was language and perspectivism. Language and perspectivism relates to both the language used by the speaker and how the audience observes it, thus impacting how they interpret the speaker’s message. Language and perspectivism has everything to do with the opinion’s that people form and the actions they choose to take or choose not to take. In this paper, I argue that Kenneth Burke’s discussion of language and perspectivism as well as terministic screens illuminates the
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course CRS 183 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Syracuse.

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crs183 paper 3 - Bobby Krivitsky Katie Lind CRS 183 April...

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