Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Subtitle

Transcending spheres of argument through the dual use of personal and pseudo-technical expertise

Availability

Open Access Thesis

Abstract

This thesis examines the public figure Vani Hari, aka The Food Babe, and her influence on public dialogue about food, nutrition, and diet. Using the theoretical framework of spheres of argument as originally described by G. Thomas Goodnight, this thesis analyzes Food Babe as an expert within the personal, technical, and public spheres. Both verbal and visual arguments will be considered throughout the analysis of Food Babe as both a personal sphere rhetor and pseudo-technical expert. This thesis argues that Food Babe simultaneously uses personal sphere evidence and argumentative strategies to legitimize herself as a pseudo-technical expert within the technical sphere, and uses technical or scientific evidence to establish herself as a maternal expert within the personal sphere. The conclusion of this thesis expands on Goodnight’s original theorization of the spheres of argument and argues that the three spheres as originally described are insufficient for understanding the rhetorical function of public figures like Food Babe.

Year of Submission

2018

Department

Department of Communication Studies

First Advisor

Ryan McGeough

Date Original

2018

Object Description

1 PDF file (V, 114 pages)

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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