The River God as a necessary horizon: myths of origin as hegemonic influences in feature news journalism

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dc.contributor Beeler, John F.
dc.contributor Black, Jason Edward
dc.contributor Copeland, Gary
dc.contributor Lowrey, Wilson Hugh
dc.contributor.advisor Zhou, Shuhua Latta, John 2017-02-28T22:21:37Z 2017-02-28T22:21:37Z 2009
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000122
dc.identifier.other Latta_alatus_0004D_10193
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract This dissertation examines the presence of America's foundational myths, especially mythicized American capitalism, as sources of base narrative structure for mainstream American news media. A reliance on these myths suggests a hegemonic role for the news media. Identifying hegemonic activity in the public rhetoric of the mainstream news media can help us understand how an institution claiming neutrality in fact specifically influences social dynamics. This dissertation employs mythic criticism, a form of rhetorical criticism, to examine leading American mainstream print news organizations' feature story coverage of immigration and immigrants, legal and illegal. The primary texts examined were news stories. These texts were stories that had won, or had been finalists for, the Pulitzer Prize for print news journalism. Stories with a similar focus, style, and structure from well-regarded print news sources were selected for examination as secondary texts. It was found that America's mainstream news media in newspaper and news magazine feature stories rely on America's foundational myths for narrative structure. Mythicized American capitalism, which misleadingly presents modern capitalism as much the same as the family- and community-based endeavor of the Puritan era, is commonly a narrative defaulted to by those media in the description of immigrants. Such a reliance on America's foundational myths narrows the range of interpretations of events available to news consumers and decreases cultural diversity by relying on an assumption of, and imposition of, a widely-held, common bond as a narrative base.
dc.format.extent 304 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Mass Communications
dc.subject.other Journalism
dc.subject.other Anthropology, Cultural
dc.title The River God as a necessary horizon: myths of origin as hegemonic influences in feature news journalism
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. College of Communication and Information Sciences Communication & Information Sciences The University of Alabama doctoral Ph.D.

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