Date of Award
Master of Arts
Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication
Margaret R. LaWare
Margaret Sanger, a well-known nurse, women’s rights and birth control activist, and sex educator is known for her influence on the birth control movement and the establishment of what is now known as Planned Parenthood, a national organization that has assisted women with their sexual and reproductive health for decades. Sanger, one of the most influential advocates for women’s self empowerment, manipulated popular eugenics-based language constructions of the time to gain elite followers for her birth control movement. Although many historical, theological, feminist, and social scientific scholars have studied Sanger’s underlying eugenic agenda, Sanger’s deliberate use of specific rhetorical strategies have not yet been analyzed. Through a close reading and concept-oriented rhetorical analysis of Sanger’s 1921 speech, “The Morality of Birth Control,” and 1922 publication, The Pivot of Civilization, this thesis will explore Sanger’s deliberate and predetermined use of antithesis, scapegoating, and ethos to promote her birth control movement.
Leslie Mary Shapy
Shapy, Leslie Mary, "A close reading and concept-oriented rhetorical and literary analysis of Margaret Sanger's eugenics-based discourse" (2016). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 15041.