Date of Award

7-17-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Carol Winkler - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Stuckey

Third Advisor

Dr. David Cheshier

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and the United States in August of 2005. While an emerging literature base details the consequences and lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, a critical missing piece for understanding Hurricane Katrina American landfall is a rhetorical perspective. I argue a rhetorical perspective can significantly contribute to a better understanding of Hurricane Katrina’s implications for creating policy, community and identity. As a case study, I employ Kenneth Burke’s cluster analysis to examine the use of the label “Third World” to describe New Orleans, the Gulf Coast and the United States in the mass media coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

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