Repository logo

Narrating the self in a national context: a study of Barack Obama's the Audacity of Hope as election campaign material




Gbadamosi, Elias K., author
Humphrey, Michael L, advisor
Kim, Jangyul R., committee member
Claycomb, Ryan M., committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


The question "Why do people write autobiographies?" is quite salient because no form of writing exists in a vacuum, and writing is an instrument of power. Historically, autobiographical narratives have played a crucial role in political life and campaigns. Political speeches and electoral campaigns have long been replete with stories of individuals who leverage their past 'heroic' deeds and their shiny present to justify their candidature and convince citizens of their ability to make life better if elected. To that end, the crux of this research is to study how presidential candidates in the United States of America tell their life stories, via autobiographies published before elections, as campaign materials to solicit citizens' goodwill and canvass voters. The paper seeks to examine how candidates apply the components of narrative paradigm (narrative coherence and narrative fidelity) and media propaganda strategies to convince the electorate of their abilities to lead the nation, brand themselves as typical representations of citizenship, whilst also introducing and making cases for the ideas and beliefs that underpin their proposed policy agenda.


Rights Access


narrative paradigm


Associated Publications