Title: The Unnerved and Unhoused: A Rhetorical Analysis of Save Austin Now’s Campaign to Disband Unhoused Individuals From Austin, Texas
Stream: Other Humanities
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Mary Helen Clark, Arizona State University, United States
Over half a million people in the United States enter homelessness every night. These rates rise in large metropolitan cities and states with intolerable outdoor living weather conditions. As a society, we blame the impoverished for their position and punish them for it as a result. For example, some states would instead treat homelessness as a criminal offense to wipe it clean from the city. In Spring 2021, Austin, TX, passed Proposition B, legislation treating homelessness as a criminal offense (Austin City Manager, 2021). This paper will analyze Save Austin Now’s (SAN) campaign website through a rhetorical critique utilizing Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm and The Five Faces of Oppression by Iris Marion Young. These theories provide a lens to analyze the languages of hate and oppression that SAN uses on its website to sway Austin voters to pass Proposition B and further displace Austin’s ever-growing homeless population. It was discovered Save Austin Now’s campaign was successful due to narratives around violence, crime, and personal deficits toward those experiencing homelessness. We can shift this narrative by using public information and awareness campaigns – humanizing housed people. This research provides new insight into changing public opinion, altering policy, and creating common values. When we have a more informed citizenry, we promote a more humanizing engagement.
Conference Comments & FeedbackPlace a comment using your LinkedIn profile
Share this Presentation