A critical analysis of Obama's attitude towards American bipartisan issues in weekley address

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A critical analysis of Obama's attitude towards American bipartisan issues in weekley address


Author: Zhang, Shuo Sharon
Title: A critical analysis of Obama's attitude towards American bipartisan issues in weekley address
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2014
Subject: Discourse analysis -- Political aspects -- United States.
Communication in politics -- United States
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 74 pages
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2775906
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7691
Abstract: In a country with different parties in reign, political divergences and contradictions sometimes are unavoidable. America has proved to be a relatively developed democratic entity with basically two major parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, campaigning for presidency. How that kind of political competition exhibits itself through language, particularly through the President's language? In 2009, democratic candidate, Barack Obama was elected as the president of United States, after four years' presidency, he continued his post for a second term. President Obama has made Your Weekly Address, a long standing tradition started by President Roosevelt, more accessible by putting it on YouTube page and the White House Government website. In this thesis, 249 weekly address transcripts of President Obama in recent five years have been collected to investigate what kind of attitude Obama holds towards the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The criteria for analyzing President Obama's attitude through weekly address are constructed with the Appraisal theory. This project attempts to investigate the specific attitude Obama holds towards the bipartisan issues, in other words, to probe whether the attitude is positive or negative, implicit or explicit. Findings show that, as an articulate president, Obama displays his attitude towards the Republicans and the Democrats quite distinctly through weekly address. He demonstrates more negative judgments towards the Republicans in an implicit way. On the contrary, he rarely criticizes or praises his own party. Mostly, he would just state some facts with neutral attitude about the Democrats. However, he desperately hopes that the Republicans and the Democrats can work together to resolve problems for the benefits of the whole country, which explains why he shows a great many positive affects explicitly towards these two parties as a whole. Through analysis of weekly address, different political ideologies of these two major parties have been exposed. Due to the different constitution of parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are regarding politics from different perspectives. Democrats may care more about the interests of the middle class while the Republicans may speak for the affluent. Therefore political contradictions have been evolving along the history. The main arguments between both parties are centering jobs, health care, education, business, tax etc.

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