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Title:Reading Ideology in Discourse: A History, Theory, and Case Study
Author(s):Pryor, Robert Herbert
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Grossberg, Lawrence
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Speech Communication
Abstract:The author argues that in the field of modern American rhetorical criticism the concept of ideology and the practice of ideologiekritik have been repressed subjects, the focus of a persistent strategy of containment. Rhetorical criticism has repeatedly flirted with the domain of ideologiekritik, but some concept other than ideology has invariably been offered as an analytical substitute; e.g., values, ideas, symbolic systems, etc. However, such concepts do not carry the critical thrust of ideology. Lost in the translation of ideology into the philosophy of myth, fantasy themes, etc., is the critical perception of the forces of power and domination and the means through which they are instituted in the social system. This is a significant feature of the concept of ideology, a term whose articulation immediately signifies relations to knowledge, power and domination. The critical work performed by this concept--identifying relations of power inscribed in discourse, their operation and impact on consciousness, action, and social order--either does not get done in rhetorical criticism, or is re-cast in terms which obscure the concrete, real struggles taking place between human beings at the level of cultural practice.
The first half of the dissertation is an historical account of the concept of ideology in social science and in modern rhetorical criticism. Building on the critique of ideology analysis in rhetorical criticism, the second half attempts to develop a materialist-semiotic reading of ideology in a rhetorical text. The text selected for reading is a free circulation, shopper-type newspaper distributed in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. An institutional analysis of the free paper industry is undertaken, and the kinds of ideology one would expect to find in a free paper given its institutional structuring is discussed. The specific textual readings are preceded by an account of the paper's local institutional context and by a content analysis of its cover stories. This gives an empirical profile of the publication. The author concludes with a materialist-semiotic reading of three separate cover story articles, a reading that demonstrates the operation of ideology in and through discourse.
Issue Date:1988
Description:290 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8815406
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-13
Date Deposited:1988

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