"For what noble cause?" : a media analysis of gender and citizenship within United States nationalist and anti-war rhetoric

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Date

2007-05

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Green, Stephanie Volkoff, 1979-

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Abstract

Public understanding of United States citizenship is tied to the rights put forth in the First Amendment, which ostensibly protects the ability to contradict government leaders. However, the Bill of Rights is only one part of a larger symbolic and rhetorical framework of citizenship. It is this larger framework that this project seeks to interrogate. This thesis explores how dissenting voices within the United States, attached to gendered bodies, are silenced by the limited roles available to citizens during a time of heightened nationalism. More specifically, it identifies how normative roles based on gender and citizenship within nationalist rhetoric attempt to limit contemporary anti-war protest, for those citizens who have fulfilled the prescribed roles of mothers and soldiers within the nationalist framework, namely Cindy Sheehan, Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against War. The study examines the framing of this dissenting speech within the mainstream press and presidential rhetoric for the year following Cindy Sheehan's encampment in Crawford, Texas in August of 2005.

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