Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Humanities

Advisor 1

Karla Kitalong

Committee Member 1

Marika Seigel

Committee Member 2

Ramon Fonkoué

DOI

10.37099/mtu.dc.etdr/999

Abstract

This thesis applies a method of rhetorical criticism – cluster analysis – to explore the different narratives on and about the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon by two prominent rhetors involved in the crisis. The artifacts in the study were Facebook posts published by Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, and a prominent Anglophone activist, Mark Bareta. The thesis set out to answer two research questions. The first question focused on the descriptive narratives that emerge from the rhetors in the crisis; the second question focused on the rhetors’ motives. The different narratives that emerged showed that Cameroon’s president pushed the narratives of “national unity” and “peace”, indicating his intentions to persuade Cameroonians, particularly those in the two English speaking regions of the country, to focus on a united country. On the other hand, the prominent Anglophone activist focused his rhetoric on the narrative of secession, aligning his narrative with his intention to have Anglophone Cameroon to secede. The narratives and motives emerged from examining key terms (god terms and devil terms) plus the terms that cluster around the god terms and devil terms respectively. Trends significant to this research, recommendations on resolving the anglophone crisis, limitations of the study, and direction for further research are discussed. This thesis has contributed to rhetorical theory by applying cluster analysis as method of rhetorical criticism to social media posts (a novel area in the method’s application).

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