Bowers v. Lawrence: the Narratives of the Supreme Court
Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Communication
rhetoric, United States Supreme Court, judicial, Bowers, Hardwick, Lawrence, Texas, sodomy
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.
© Daniel Christopher Bohlmann
Bohlmann, Daniel Christopher, "Bowers v. Lawrence: the Narratives of the Supreme Court" (2007). MSU Graduate Theses. 1039.