The Rhetorical Life of 22-A-Day: Discourse, Media Publics, and Representation
In this dissertation, I examine the rhetorical life of a statistic from before its creation to its use in media publics and social movements. This movement through discourse is indicative of a rhetorical life, in which the statistic lives a multivalent existence. Its persistence through different sites of discourse promotes an opportunity for multiple iterations to develop. These different iterations are used by groups to direct audience attention in specific ways. Through the use of rhetorical elements, publics and social movements alike promote agendas through their own persistence of the statistic. I argue that the rhetorical life of statistics persists through public boundaries contributing differently to ongoing discourse. The examination of this rhetorical life illuminates how rhetorical elements impact the creation and fluctuation of meaning.