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Rhetorically defining a social institution: how leaders have framed same-sex marriage

Grube, D ORCID: 0000-0002-4000-2460 and van Acker, E 2017 , 'Rhetorically defining a social institution: how leaders have framed same-sex marriage' , Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 52, no. 2 , pp. 183-198 , doi:

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Questions about the definition, meaning and limits of marriage havebecome a topic of fierce political debate in advanced Westerndemocracies over the past decade as political leaders have soughtto grapple with the issue of same-sex marriage. The rhetoricalchoices of leaders as they have made the case for or againstmoving away from traditional definitions of marriage have beencentral to shaping the national debate within differentjurisdictions. This article applies the theoretical lens of ‘discursiveinstitutionalism’ (Schmidt) and the analytical purchase of‘rhetorical political analysis’ (Finlayson) to compare the rhetoric ofPrime Minister David Cameron in the UK, Prime Minister TonyAbbott in Australia, and President Obama in the USA. We arguethat Cameron and Obama have, in different ways, each sought todiscursively re-define the institution of marriage by drawing onelements already endogenous to the institution itself.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Grube, D and van Acker, E
Keywords: Rhetoric; Marriage Policy; Discursive Institutionalism
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Political Science
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1036-1146
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2016 Australian Political Studies Association

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