Date

5-2016

Department

Communication Studies

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Cecil V. Kramer

Disciplines

Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Other Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication

Abstract

In the 1960s and early 1970s, American colleges were shaken by a group whose collective view of the country was so abhorrent that they tried, through word and action, to tear the country apart. The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) created and sustained a vision that was shared by thousands and fueled by stories of members who traveled the country recruiting college students to carry out the organization’s mission of war against society. The words spoken in speeches and written in publications created by the SDS demonstrate the power in a shared vision and served to create unity among the people who considered themselves supporters of the SDS. Analyzing the verbiage in documents produced by the SDS through the application of symbolic convergence theory will provide insight into the rhetorical vision of the organization. This thesis will specifically explore documents pertaining to Kent State University and the riots that occurred in May 1970.