Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Freivogel, William


All human communication is narrative in nature (Fisher, 1987) and should adhere to narrative rationality and value-laden idealistic-moralistic or materialistic Master Analogues to be accepted by audiences (Fisher, 1985). This study examined the persuasive nature of the visual narratives presented by the 2020 presidential candidate’s official Facebook posts as well as examine how the candidates’ rhetorical visions create referential points in constructing the viewers’ own identities as supporters (Messaris, 1997). As Foss, Foss, & Trapp (2002) contend, “a basic function of the media is the creation of representations or simulations – reproduced versions of reality” (p. 313). The version of reality being presented on each candidate’s official Facebook page creates narratives as means of influence and cultivating group identity.




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