Date of Award

Summer 6-3-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Carol Winkler

Second Advisor

David Cheshier

Third Advisor

Greg Lisby


In the aftermath of the events of 9/11, the U.S. executive branch has repeatedly maintained that its need for action to secure the nation requires a revised interpretation of individual liberties. This study will explore the tensions between the positive ideographs and in response to the negative ideograph in a contemporary United States court ruling. Using Burke’s pentad, and cluster analysis, as well as Brummett’s notion of strategic silence, the study examines how the FISCR substantially changed the interrelationship between the two ideographs. The study concludes that the FISCR situated strengthening national security as the purpose of the case it ruled on, which privileged national security over privacy. Throughout the expansion of security,> the court used silence to justify its decision. This analysis both adds to our understanding of the synchronic relationship between ideographs, and examines how the courts utilize such interplays to reconstitute community.


Included in

Communication Commons