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Prepare before you say "I do" : the rhetorical construction of marriage in premarital counseling programs

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dc.contributor.advisor Iltis, Robert S.
dc.creator Young, Jun
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-09T17:02:30Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-09T17:02:30Z
dc.date.copyright 1996-11-20
dc.date.issued 1996-11-20
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/34253
dc.description Graduation date: 1997 en_US
dc.description.abstract The increasing prevalence of marital breakdown in the United States has been met by the proliferation of premarital counseling programs in professional counseling centers and churches. As increasing masses of couples turn to premarital counseling to prevent future interpersonal problems, and as communities and churches across the United States deem it necessary to require them to do so, the rhetoric of premarital counseling, I argue, is becoming a significant force in constructing contemporary meanings of marriage. Utilizing rhetorical criticism as a new method for examining premarital counseling, this study addresses two key issues: a) the images of marriage constructed in these programs; and b) the process by which these images are created. An extensive analysis of two national programs, messages embodied in their counseling materials, themes, symbols, and clusters of terms that facilitate persuasion and epistemic functions. Applying a Burkean dramatistic perspective, I contend that a more complete understanding of premarital counseling is advanced if such discourse is treated as "drama" and the participates in such discourse as "symbol-using animals." The dramatistic analysis of both programs reveals that a "rhetoric of rebirth" best explains the process of persuasion that occurs in these programs. This research is an example of how premarital counseling programs can be analyzed from a fresh perspective--namely, premarital counseling as rhetoric. Such analysis ultimately leads to a new way of explaining how these programs attempt to modify couples' beliefs and actions. The last chapter summarizes the thesis, discusses the ethics of rhetoric in programs, as well as the limitations and contributions of the study and implications for future research. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Marriage counseling -- United States en_US
dc.title Prepare before you say "I do" : the rhetorical construction of marriage in premarital counseling programs en_US
dc.type Thesis/Dissertation en_US
dc.degree.name Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (M.A.I.S.) en_US
dc.degree.level Master's en_US
dc.degree.discipline Interdisciplinary Studies en_US
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en_US
dc.description.digitization File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using Capture Perfect 3.0 on a Canon DR-9050C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR. en_US
dc.description.peerreview no en_us

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