Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

David Cheshier


This thesis uses the discourse analysis methods developed by T. Van Dijk and J. P. Gee to examine public debate over the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001 as it arose in testimony before the U. S. House of Representatives and related news articles published in the

New York Times and Washington Post.

In analyzing the language used in the congressional hearings and news articles printed between January 2001 and December 2004, Van Dijk‘s categories and related questions were methodologically combined with Gee‘s approach to provide a framework and method for analyzing the underlying discourse. While debate participants expressed strong beliefs in complex social ideals, many see America‘s social problems as intractable in nature, where key decisions about distributions of funds are based on political considerations, as opposed to merit or need.


Included in

Communication Commons