Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Wendy Atkins-Sayre

Committee Chair Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Casey Malone Maugh Funderburk

Committee Member 2 Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. Steven Venette

Committee Member 3 Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 4

Dr. John Meyer

Committee Member 4 Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member 5

Dr. Keith Erickson

Committee Member 5 Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

This study examines the rhetoric of whiteness framing albinism in the general public. It is argued that the albinic body is a unique space from which the typical coding of race, and the very act of difference making can be deconstructed. This analysis brings into focus observations about how whiteness operates rhetorically and ideologically in popular discourse to create negative verbal and visual trope of albinism, called the albino trope. Through the albino trope, White privilege maintains its invisible rhetorical silence. By examining the complexities that arise when albinism is communicated about in the general public, we gain more insight into the understanding of race in our culture.

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