Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Cultural and Rhetorical Analysis of Presidential Debates

Cultural and Rhetorical Analysis of Presidential Debates Obama presidential debates are highly discussed in the United States because it is an important event for each U.S. citizen who has the right to vote and attend the elections. The debate between candidatures – Obama and Romney – underlines specific rhetorical and cultural approaches to engaging into discussion and introducing their viewpoints on specific issues related to politics, economics, and social organization.Advertising We will write a custom critical writing sample on Cultural and Rhetorical Analysis of Presidential Debates specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More In order to define cultural underpinnings and issues of the debate, I will focus on the analysis of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in which Barack Obama is invited as a guest. The program relies on both humorous and political issues, as well as unveils certain important cultural dimensions of the presidential elections. The critical examination will allow to d efine the modern attitudes to gender and sexuality, as well as how they are treated at the threshold of the presidential election campaign. In particular, although the program is dedicated a variety of issues, including social vision, cultural background, traditions and celebrations, and religious views, Barack Obama still manages to interpret all these topics in the light of the upcoming elections. Although the show does not cover fully the essence of political situation, as well as the content of presidential debates, it still focuses on the Obama’s attitude toward cultural, economic, and social issues. Specific attention requires his position concerning the gender roles distributed in American society. His religious and social beliefs, therefore, reflect his general opinion on the role of women and men. While tracing the interview, both Leno and Obama focus on very interesting issues that are beyond politics. This is of particular concern to their discussion of womenâ€⠄¢s capability of doing decisions, and Obama’s views on health care and military system that are directly associated with discussion of gender and social role. While discussing Obama’s attitude to rape, specific emphasis is placed on the role of male politicians in making decisions about women’s health care issues. I plan to discuss all these issues in much detail to define what cultural and national undercurrents are highlighted in Obama’s speech. The TV program is associated with discussing various issues that are not confined to any political and religious outlooks. Nevertheless, because Obama was invited to the show during the election campaign, the most of the topics covered strongly correlate with this situation.Advertising Looking for critical writing on government? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More With regard to the above, the target audience is the U.S. citizens who are interested in voting and participating in presidential races. Regardless what topics have been discussed, should it be family issues, economic situation, Obama’s personal life, all these topics were centered on attracting more audience who is concerned with the election campaign. Within the context of gender stereotypes analysis, Ott and Mack state, â€Å"the competing interpretations of gender in contemporary society give rise to confusing, often contradictory message about various roles of men and women† (p. 193). However, despite the presence of patriarchal system of power ensuring restricted representation of women, Obama still emphasizes the right of women to decide on the type of treatment, as well as other decisions that concern their health. Judging from the President’s position, the equality between men and women is a serious problem for politicians. I have also noticed that most of the issues related to over discussion of gender are concealed by general political statements related to such urgent problems as tax rates, unemployment, and security welfare in the United States. Social interaction is closely associated with gender stereotypes, even though they are veiled with general discussions about social structures attributed to contemporary life. Making connection of the importance of women’s decision with the politics of the current government, Obama recognizes that most of politicians releasing reforms, acts, and other regulations are males. Therefore, in order to intrude into issues related to female health, the president strives to solve this problem at legislative and political levels. The availability of basic health is important and, therefore, the Supreme Court should have a direct impact on the analysis of the issue. While discussing the capability of women to make important choices about their health, Obama stresses that this aspect should also relate to family issues, which once again refers to the presidents conservative outlook on women’s place in society. The very recognition and emphasis already testifies to the president’s constantly changing patterns of considering women and their limited access to politics. Therefore, it is purposeful to judge that Obama has concealed views on gender that are confined to the conservative position of roles of women as housewives, but not as feminine activists taking part in various social, cultural and political measures.Advertising We will write a custom critical writing sample on Cultural and Rhetorical Analysis of Presidential Debates specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More The influence of media on representation of gender is tangible. I agree with Gill’s statement about media coverage: â€Å"rather than reflecting reality†¦the media are involved in producing or constructing particular versions of reality in order to make them ‘real’ and persuasive† (44). The focus on distortion and bias challenges the accuracy of comprehending the real state of affairs, as well as leads to a deviated form of political action that refers to ‘bad’ stereotypes. Finally, the media approach provides no distinction between degrees of meaning. In fact, it only addresses the content representation ignoring the fact that woman can symbolize a range of meanings, such as comfort, sexuality, stability, and conservatism. All these aspects could be highlighted in the television program episode. Specifically, Obama does recognize the existing distribution of gender role due to the actual emphasis on the male politicians and women’s capability to make decisions. The place of women’s in politics is heavily argued because there exist evidence stereotypic framework that is imposed on Obama’s speech in the show. Certainly, media has a potent impact on the President’s elaborations on this issue. Because he realizes that has great responsibili ty because he exposes his family as an example that other Americans should follow. For instance, when he talks about family related issues, Obama mentions his wife’s contributions constantly and refers to her role as a wife. Therefore, this is an additional media stereotypes affecting Obama’s ideology. Although the attitude to gender and sexuality in contemporary society is represented in various contexts, the Presidents still adheres to a heteronormative, objective perspective. I believe that Obama articulates ideas in a reserved, unemotional way, which allows him to maintain an image of an ordinary man that most voters believe he is. Such a position, therefore, is premised on standardized assessments of functions performed by males. Due to the fact that the contemporary society recognizes the masculinity and femininity are different aspects that should be considered as opposites, Obama takes the role of a heteronormative position as the one opposed to homosexual ster eotypes, which once again signifies Obama’s negative rather than neutral attitude to homosexuals.Advertising Looking for critical writing on government? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More There is also an assumption that male’s heterosexual orientation should be associated with unemotional, restrained, and objective evaluation of various issues (Fourie 306). In contrast, homosexuality is more connected with greater emotionality, which is attributed to a negative connotation. The connection between gender and sexuality is evident, but little consideration is done concerning its representation in political sphere. In fact, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno produces new perspectives which allow to uncover Obama’s actual view on sexuality and gender. Although the speech did not specifically relate to the discussion of gender issues, there are still contextual and rhetorical signs uncovering certain angles of the aspect. It should be stressed, however, that gender and sexuality are constructed through the prism of identities. The changing patterns also testify to the shifts in perceiving and evaluating the role of gender and sexuality. This is of particular con cern to role models, as well as to how they are covered in media. The media reflects on the relationships and situations from various social angles, specifically when it comes to the discussion of gender equality. In this respect, I agree with the point that â€Å"women have the formal right to most things that a man can do, and vice versa: situation where this is not the case become wellpublicised courtroom battles† (Gauntlett 4). Due to the fact hat even personal relationships has undergone democratic influence, marriage is analyzed beyond social, cultural, and political environments. In the television program under analysis, there is a kind of devaluation of such values because the anchor employs humorous approach to treating both marriage and politics. Therefore, discussing issues relating to gender seems to be as natural and as discussing such common aspects as tax payment and employment rates. Overall, because the television program episode does not overtly discuss gend er issues, its format allows to address the contemporary problems and introduce a handful of opinion on it (Ross n. p.). Although Obama is considered here as president whose view on gender should be neutral, its attitude to gender issues could be explained from the position of male gaze. This is of particular concern to his obligations with regard to the roles and responsibilities he takes in life. Although his position in political life is identified, Obama still recognizes the existence of opposition between masculinity and femininity. At the very beginning of the show, I have noticed that Obama talks about his family from the perspective of the American Dream stereotypes that restrict his view on society in general. Further considerations taken by the guest of the show are connected with the discussion of women’s capabilities and rights. From this viewpoint, Obama is more interested in representing the feminist view on the problem of women’s health and security. In conclusion, the analysis of the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno proves that media employs powerful rhetoric tools to influence public opinion. Media coverage also creates new stereotypes concerning the role of gender and its connection to sexuality. Although, the episode at issue does not address directly the issues of gender and sexuality, the speakers are concerned with the problem of gender equality. Their personal views on family issues and the place of women in society are also uncovered during the discussion. Fourie, Pieter J. Media Studies: Media History, Media and Society. US: Juta and Company Ltd, 2010. Print. Gill, Rosalind. Gender and the Media. US: Polity, 2006. Print. Guantlett, David. Media, Gender, and Identity: An Introduction. London: Routledge, 2008. Print. Ott, Brian, and Robert Mack. Critical Media Studies: An Introduction. US: John Wiley Sons. 2009. Print. Ross, Karen. The Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Media. US: John Wiley Sons. 2011. Print.

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