Date of Award

8-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Speech Communication

First Advisor

Singer, Ross

Abstract

In contemporary society, public discourse about abortion remains substantially controversial. Although the U.S. abortion debate remains in the public eye, there has been little to no attention focused on race. This project interrogates the role of race and racial identity in the abortion debate through. To investigate the existence of race in contemporary U.S. abortion rhetoric, I utilize a three-part conceptual framework as my rhetorical method. I examine TRF billboard campaign, paying particular attention to its employment of collective memory. Moreover, I examine how the campaign uses African American collective memories to create and sustain an argument concerning Black abortion. I conclude that racialized abortion rhetoric demands scholarly attention because it extends the boundaries of conversations about abortion. Furthermore, I contend that anti-Black abortion rhetoric increases our understanding of how communication and racial/ethnic identities mutually develop.

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