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Title:"You can fool some of the people some of the time": perspective by incongruity in Ballyhoo magazine, 1931-1932
Author(s):Cooper, Troy
Director of Research:Finnegan, Cara A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Finnegan, Cara A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ono, Kent A.; Murphy, John M.; Stole, Inger L.
Department / Program:Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Perspective by incongruity
Visual rhetoric
Abstract:This study analyzes two years of images from Ballyhoo magazine (1931-1932) as a form of visual rhetoric. I analyze the visual rhetoric of Ballyhoo to illustrate how it treated three important issues of 1930s America. First, Ballyhoo portrays Prohibition as a detrimental policy and scapegoats its creators and maintainers. Second, Ballyhoo comments on the Great Depression by both ridiculing the wealthy and powerful and identifying the ironies of living poor amid the Depression. Finally, in its critiques of consumer culture, and especially advertising, Ballyhoo employs parody to rhetorical effect by mocking the entire advertising enterprise. This study contextualizes, analyzes, and interprets Ballyhoo’s production of perspective by incongruity on the most pressing issues of the early 1930s. Ultimately, Ballyhoo succeeded in constructing a critical rhetoric of incongruity that was both timely in the 1930s and foundational to contemporary critiques that employ perspective by incongruity.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Troy Cooper
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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