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Date of Award
Frances J. Ranney
BLUE TO BDU: THE FIVE CANONS OF RHETORIC AND THE TEXT OF THE POLICE UNIFORM
VYTAUTAS ADOLPH MALESH
Advisor: Dr. Frances Ranney
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation contains an overview of the five canons of rhetoric—invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery—and the ways in which the canons can be used to describe the rhetorical action of American police uniforms. Historical perspectives on the canons are taken from a number of sources ranging from the ancient to the very modern. Police uniforms are described via police department uniform guidelines, commonly available web materials, and trade publications. This examination includes a consideration of whether or not a police uniform, demonstrably a tool used in the application of violence in public space, is even capable of rhetorical action. Ultimately, the police uniform in duty deployment scenarios can be coercive, but not persuasive: it can influence human action through the threat of violence; however, the police uniform can be a tool for rhetoric in other circumstances. A 2015 uniform change by the Logan County, Arkansas sheriff’s department indicates that police uniforms can be powerful tools for persuasively establishing or refashioning identity, thus indicating rhetorical capability.
Malesh, Vytautas, "Blue To Bdu: The Five Canons Of Rhetoric And The Text Of The Police Uniform" (2018). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1945.