Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Special Olympics: A Narrative Paradigm Analysis of Communal Identity
Canter, William Harry Yancey
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Numerous rhetorical critics have employed the narrative paradigm for analysis; however, it has not been applied to Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Special Olympics. Within the Special Olympics lies rhetoric rich with meaning. As the founder of the Special Olympics Shriver held the power to create an identity not just for the Games, but for those with intellectual disabilities. Creating an identity for a marginalized group, she not only had to craft her speeches for the athletes, but also for the world outside the Special Olympics. This study provides an evaluation of five Shriver addresses to the Special Olympics that took place between 1987 and 2003. Using the narrative paradigm, along with the concept of dynamic spectacle, this literature highlights Shriver's crafting of a communal identity. In demonstrating Shriver's ability to create a communal identity, I provide a framework for future research to study rhetorically crafted identities and communities.
- Masters Theses