Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
This thesis examines President Ronald Reagan’s poverty discourse during his first term. Using the work of Walter Fisher, this study examines Reagan’s narrative rationality in constructing images of welfare recipients and the welfare system in the justification of his policies. By identifying links between Reagan’s rhetoric and the rhetoric of debates leading to the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), this thesis supports Asen’s (2002) claim that Reagan created a "discursive context" that made passage of PRWORA possible. Moreover, the study suggests the utility of using Skowronek’s (1997) "Recurrent Structure of Presidential Authority" in understanding United States Presidential Discourse.
Discourse analysis, Narrative.
McCullough, Ryan Phillip, "Reconstructing Poverty Discourse: Poverty and Reagan’s Narrative Rationality" (2005). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 725.