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Rhetorically defining a social institution: how leaders have framed same-sex marriage


Grube, D and van Acker, E, Rhetorically defining a social institution: how leaders have framed same-sex marriage, Australian Journal of Political Science, 52, (2) pp. 183-198. ISSN 1036-1146 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Australian Political Studies Association

DOI: doi:10.1080/10361146.2016.1260683


Questions about the definition, meaning and limits of marriage have become a topic of fierce political debate in advanced Western democracies over the past decade as political leaders have sought to grapple with the issue of same-sex marriage. The rhetorical choices of leaders as they have made the case for or against moving away from traditional definitions of marriage have been central to shaping the national debate within different jurisdictions. This article applies the theoretical lens of ‘discursive institutionalism’ (Schmidt) and the analytical purchase of ‘rhetorical political analysis’ (Finlayson) to compare the rhetoric of Prime Minister David Cameron in the UK, Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Australia, and President Obama in the USA. We argue that Cameron and Obama have, in different ways, each sought to discursively re-define the institution of marriage by drawing on elements already endogenous to the institution itself.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Rhetoric; Marriage Policy; Discursive Institutionalism
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Australian government and politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Government and politics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Grube, D (Associate Professor Dennis Grube)
ID Code:121200
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:College Office - CALE
Deposited On:2017-09-14
Last Modified:2017-11-13

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