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Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication

Advisor(s)

S. Scott Lunsford

Jen Almjeld

Angela Crow

Abstract

This thesis consists of two journal articles that examine newspaper coupon booklets called free-standing inserts (FSIs) through feminist and visual rhetoric lenses. The first article attempts to identify the “ideal couponer,” or the audience suggested by the product categories, visuals, and language appearing in FSIs. Through content and textual analyses using a feminist rhetoric lens, the article argues that FSIs evoke the idea of an audience of mothers who conform to gendered cultural assumptions about womanhood and parenthood. The article concludes with theoretical and business implications of these findings, contending that more rhetorical research is necessary to understand how FSIs reinforce social stereotypes and can improve current marketing efforts.

The second article analyzes the materiality of FSI coupons and the act of FSI couponing to determine the degree to which they support the preservation and reclamation of domestic narratives. The article suggests that FSI coupons and couponing reinforce domestic narratives about women as homemakers, crafters, and planners, among others. It also proposes that FSI coupons and couponing enable reclamations of the value of crafting and the accessibility of participating in business. When combined, the first and second articles aim to lay a foundation for a rhetoric of coupons.

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Rhetoric Commons

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