Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre

First Advisor

Rebecca A. Kuehl


discourse, presidential, public, refugees, rhetoric, Syrian


In this thesis, I introduce the reader to sixteen texts of political discourse about Syrian refugees from three rhetors; President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and President Donald J. Trump. As the Syrian refugee crisis continues to grow, political leaders and citizens around the world debate the appropriate way to provide aid to those fleeing Syria. I rhetorically analyze multiple texts from each of these politicians’ and their use of framing, ideographs and metaphors within their political discourse. In my research, I suggest that the framing language used by each rhetor about Syrian refugees has varying impacts on the audience. The analysis of this political discourse yielded interesting implications, both positive and negative, on the theories and perspectives used within this study, as well as on the United States’ society, Syrian refugees and U.S. and global politics.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Political refugees -- Syria.
Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States.
Communication in politics -- United States.
Presidents -- United States -- Language.
Political oratory -- United States.
Discourse analysis -- United States.
Obama, Barack -- Oratory.
Clinton, Hillary Rodham -- Oratory.
Trump, Donald, 1946- -- Oratory.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 125-155)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright