Title

Crisis Communication: Interpretation and Identity

Defense Date

7-20-2009

Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2009

Availability

Restricted

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Communication and Rhetorical Studies

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Ronald C. Arnett

Committee Member

Janie Harden Fritz

Committee Member

Calvin L. Troup

Keywords

Crisis Communication, Philosophical Hermeneutics, Prejudice, Text, Question, Identity

Abstract

Crisis communication, in the words of Hans-Georg Gadamer, is attentive to this historical moment. This dissertation utilizes Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics in the meeting, understanding, and attending to crisis events. Gadamer's use of question, text, and prejudice/bias guides this inquiry into the major crisis metaphors, scholars, and disciplinary conventions that shape the current scholarly area of crisis communication. Following Gadamer's interpretive framework, crisis is viewed as an emergent question that one meets through a standpoint, a particular prejudice/bias. By reviewing the Tylenol crisis of 1982, this project demonstrates that this milieu of question, text, and bias calls forth an identity that is reconstituted from what it was prior to the crisis event. Finally, the dissertation examines how a public identity for a corporate entity is redefined and reconstituted by the manner in which it engages a crisis. In keeping with Gadamer's philosophical thought, this project does not offer a method of crisis communication but rather points to the contemplative process necessary for the meeting and engaging of a crisis that will transform the identity of the corporate structure or the environment from which the crisis emerges.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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