Title

Hate Rhetoric and the Rhetorical Strategy of Typology, Transfer, and Dramatic Presentation: A Critical Analysis of Four Sermons by Wesley A. Swift

Publication Date

4-2005

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Major Advisor

Ben L. Parker

Advisor

Rick Moore

Advisor

Marvin Cox

Advisor

Gary L. Waller

Abstract

This thesis is a critical rhetorical analysis of hate rhetoric and how the rhetorical strategy of typology, transfer, and dramatic presentation, as outlined by Brummett (1991a), creates, maintains, and perpetuates ideologies. This rhetorical strategy was exemplified in four sermons written and presented by Wesley A. Swift, an early founder of the white supremacist Christian Identity Movement. My findings reveal how Wesley Swift promoted an ideology of racism by tying his ideological claims to a typological grounding text (the Bible) and then transferring his focus to secular sources to capriciously legitimize whatever ideological stance he was presenting. While making his arguments, he used dramatic presentation to foster the belief that he possessed a special or in-depth knowledge of the subject area. This rhetorical analysis has both academic and pragmatic value to the field of Communication. Academically, it offers an in-depth examination and explanation of a highly successful, persuasive rhetorical strategy. Pragmatically, this thesis makes available a rudimentary scholarly template that will help audiences critically assess rhetors' use of typological texts to support ideological claims.

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