Articles

Gendered Categories in Presidential Rhetoric: Legitimation and the Gulf War

Author: Scott London

  • Gendered Categories in Presidential Rhetoric: Legitimation and the Gulf War

    Articles

    Gendered Categories in Presidential Rhetoric: Legitimation and the Gulf War

    Author:

Abstract

Presidential rhetoric in the United States provides a window into the ideological legitimation of the state, including its military activities abroad. An analysis of rhetorical strategies in George Bush's public speech at the time of the Persian Gulf War reveals how gendered categories are employed to justify the war to the American public. Drawing on a dualistic conceptualization of "good" (hegemonic) versus "bad" (subordinate) masculinities, the President's war narrative describes a "noble" American military pitted against a "bestial" enemy. This process of legitimation is inseparable from a broader "moral regulation" of American society in which gendered identities are selectively cultivated and marginalized. Presidential rhetoric helps to reify these identities, which become, in turn, indispensable to the war effort.

How to Cite: London S., (1993) “Gendered Categories in Presidential Rhetoric: Legitimation and the Gulf War”, Arizona Anthropologist 10.

649 Views

514 Downloads

Published on
01 Jan 1993
Peer Reviewed