Anecdotes and Conversations: The Narrational and Dialogic Styles of Modern Presidential Communication

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Abstract

Presidential communication as storytelling can be usefully conceived of as falling into two broad stylistic categories: narrational and dialogic. While the rhetorical goals of the president remain the same for both styles, there are differences in the approaches to those goals. Narrational presidents tell complete and well integrated stories, facilitate audience identification through appeals to participation and inclusion and encourage presidential interpretive dominance. Dialogic presidents tell more fragmented stories, facilitate audience identification by relying on the audience to complete the story, and encourage lower expectations of the president. These styles present different risks and opportunities for the presidents employing them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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