Thesis Title

Bowers V. Lawrence: the Narratives of the Supreme Court

Date of Graduation

Spring 2007

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Eric Morris

Keywords

rhetoric, United States Supreme Court, judicial, Bowers, Hardwick, Lawrence, Texas, sodomy

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

This thesis examines the rhetoric of the Court's opinions in Bowers v. Hardwick and Lawrence v. Texas from a narrative approach informed by theories on the rhetorical situation. The Bowers majority opinion is framed around themes of history, morality and a reductionist understanding of sexual orientation which allows the Court to endorse sodomy laws. In Lawrence v. Texas a competing narrative was shaped that reframed elements of the Bowers narrative in order to ultimately reject the Court's decision in Bowers. This analysis demonstrates that narrative method of rhetorical analysis is helpful in understanding what is happening when the Court acts.

Copyright

© Daniel Christopher Bohlmann

Citation-only

Dissertation/Thesis

Share

COinS