Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The rhetorical study of violence tends to examine violence within larger generic boundaries such as social movements studies or war rhetoric. In order to work toward a generalizable rhetorical theory of violence and discourse, this study examines texts which justify violence across generic boundaries. Accordingly, four case studies individually examine texts which justify political violence. This study compares and contrasts the rhetorical strategies of George Bush, the Unabomber, Earth First! and Abbie Hoffman. This study concludes that there are no universal strategies among the four case studies in the justification of violence. However, there appears to be a continuum of rhetorical strategies which rhetors follow depending on whether they are seeking to reinforce social institutions through violence, or destroy social institutions through violence.
Reilly, Edward Christopher, "Rhetoric and Social Struggle: In Search of the Topoi of Violence." (1998). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 6861.