A rhetorical study of the Tablet on human rights in Poland, 1978-1983

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Title: A rhetorical study of the Tablet on human rights in Poland, 1978-1983
Author: Pape, Christopher
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic and Political Studies
Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Politiikan ja talouden tutkimuksen laitos
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för ekonomi och politik
Date: 2010-06-28
Language: en
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/17242
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Social Science History
Political History
Poliittinen historia
Politisk historia
Abstract: This thesis is a study of the English Catholic journal, the Tablet, and the way in which the concept of human rights was presented and developed in its reporting on Poland from 1978-1983. The analysis is undertaken through a study of the language related to human rights in the relevant editorials and articles published in the period. The method used to analyse the primary material makes use of rhetorical theories of Kenneth Burke, specifically his theory of dramatism. The main analysis is contextualised by studies of the various aspects which help to construct the journal's world view politically, with emphasis on its understanding of human rights, and the nature of its intended audience. The relevant political background in Britain and Poland is examined, as is contemporary rhetoric on human rights emanating from the Catholic Church and the West, which attest to the relevance of the topic. The research question asked by the paper is, 'In what way and to what end are human rights discussed politically in the Tablet in relation to Poland between 1978 and 1983?' The thesis concludes that the Tablet uses the language of rights to promote a certain political agenda and that it describes different groups in terms of rights in different ways in order to influence the political opinions of its readers. The language of rights is specifically used to legitimise the political actions of the Catholic Church, and to positively promote a specifically Catholic ideology in which the Church is very closely associated with the idea of rights. By opposition, it is used to attack the communist government of Poland, and by extension the communist political system as a whole. The language of rights is used to affect reader's opinions about power relations and authority. The thesis ends by asserting that through its use as a legitimising agent, the notion of rights has to a degree lost its specific meaning, and become a term which simplifies the reports in which it is contained through associations made by the reader.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta (http://www.helsinki.fi/helka). Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: Poland
human rights

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