PJAS 10-7

Marta Rzepecka
Political Argumentation in Ronald Reagan’s “Bear” Commercial
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 10 (2016), pp. 103-125


This article examines the manifestation of persuasion in political campaign advertising and the role of persuasion in the public’s consciousness. It is set in the context of the Reagan administration’s approach towards the Soviet Union and based on and clarified with illustrations drawn from the “Bear” commercial. The article applies Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s concepts of presence and communion to identify the means by which the public was provoked to give its assent to the president’s ideas and decide to act, and interprets the mechanisms behind the commercial in the light of Eric M. Eisenberg’s notion of strategic ambiguity.

Keywords: political argumentation, campaign commercial, Ronald Reagan, presence and communion, strategic ambiguity

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.10/2016.07

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