ERIC Number: ED215373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Feb
Reference Count: 0
New Myths, Old Realities: The Rhetoric of "Reaganomics."
A study of President Ronald Reagan's speeches reveals not only a President intent on "identifying directly with the people," but a spokesman adept at the use of symbolic communication as well. Probably the most obvious symbol of the campaign for economic renewal is the term "Reaganomics" itself. Referentially, it has come to stand for the particular policy objectives advocated in the President's recovery plan; as a condensation symbol, it means much more. Through the creation and nurturing of myths, and the resurrection of ritual and ceremony in the White House, the President has endowed "Reaganomics" with far more sublime connotations. Reagan is also effective in using the myth of the American hero and stories of the nation's origins; his skill in appealing directly to the people first to educate them, and then to motivate them to act, has proved immensely valuable in his efforts to mold the public's perceptions about the nation's economic plight. Moreover, shaped largely by Reagan's use of ritual and myth, the rhetoric of "Reaganomics" reveals substantial symbolic dimensions. It would seem safe to assume that symbols, myth, and ritual will continue to surface in the President's messages. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reagan (Ronald)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Denver, CO, February 1982).