ERIC Number: ED339053
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Arkansas Debate of 1990: A Narrative View of Role.
Scholars can learn much from analyzing discourse within a statewide political debate. A study used W. R. Fisher's theory of narrative rationality to analyze the first intra-party debate (April 16, 1990) between Republican candidates for Governor of Arkansas, Sheffield Nelson and Tommy Robinson, to ascertain the narrative rationality employed by each and the roles portrayed by each. A detailed examination of the question, answers, and closing statements of the debate, using R. P. Hart's method of role analysis, revealed that of Nelson's 188 statements referring to himself, the largest number fell into the category of performative action, followed by narrative action, then behavioral action and lastly emotional/moral action. Results further showed that of Robinson's 92 self-references, the largest number were in the category of narrative action, followed by performative action, then emotional/moral action, with behavioral action as the smallest category. Findings suggest that Nelson was able to play the successful chief executive officer, and by concentrating his self references in the behavioral category, was able to provide Arkansas voters a consistent picture of his plans for the future of the state. Findings further suggest that Robinson, with the bulk of his statements in the category of narrative action, was not able to promote his vision of the future of the state. (One table is included and 93 references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Arkansas; Fisher (Walter); Political Communication; Rhetorical Strategies
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).