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PhD Proposal Example


Start writing your PhD proposal with 2 things: check some Doctorate proposal samples on similar topics and craft your own PhD proposal outline. Samples will give you a better perception of the proper PhD proposal structure and you will easily write an outline of your own proposal yourself.

A Rhetorical Analysis of Athlete Identities through Broadcast Commentaries

Introduction

In society today, professional sports play a very important role in defining the American culture. This is because sports help embody the ideals of the American nation for many citizens as they advocate hard work, respect and success. It is easy for any one living in the United States to see the impact of athletics resounding through the culture. From commonplace sayings, to school sponsored teams, and television stations like ESPN and FoxSports that only broadcast on sports related topics; it is easy to see sports everywhere in this nation.

Start your PhD proposal with mentioning how acuteness and importance of your chosen problem. Statistical facts will make your proposal impressive.

There are not only fans of sports in the United States, but there are many professional broadcasters who make their living simply on commenting on events in sports cultures. The stories depicted by these professionals offer the general viewing public and sports fans across the globe with a narrow scope of what is going on in sporting events. As they do this broadcasters face the challenge of determining what needed to be reported and how that information needs to be presented, and they often have only a split second to make these decisions.

The commentary delivered by sports broadcasters not only provides insight into the identity of athletes and to what is going on in a game, but their commentary impacts the public’s perception of sporting events as well. The way that broadcasters explain match-ups depict story lines and relay the information from the game directly impacts the public’s perception of the sporting events and the athletes that participate in them. This is because the broadcaster must choose a marginal number of details from a large pool of information, giving the public only a narrow view of what they see. As they do this they choose a rhetorical frame through which athletes will appear to the public.

Try to give a profound overview of existing problem from different viewpoints: you will underline your own awareness and interest in the topic.

While past studies have shown that media has an influence on public perception, future studies need to examine the actual identities that broadcasters are creating of athletes with their coverage and how these identities reflect societal values. This proposed study, once executed, will explore how the agenda of the broadcaster shapes the identities of televised athletes for audience viewing.

Literature Review

To begin an investigation into identity constructions through broadcaster agenda, it is first necessary to examine the research existing in three areas: the role of sports in American culture, the role of broadcasters as journalists and agenda setters, and the frames sports broadcasters have historically created through play-by-play commentary.

Literature review of your PhD proposal should pay specific role to the references. Make sure you are citing relevant and recent sources.

As stated earlier, sports are a major element in American culture. For many, they are a part of daily life. Many people play the games or watch others participate. The prominence of sports in America is only growing, particularly in terms of television viewing (Master, 2009). A 2008 Nielsen report found six factors contributing to growing popularity of sports broadcasts:

  • Compelling story lines and a sense of drama
  • Improved television picture quality through high-definition TV
  • More sports networks
  • Growing impact of Internet and mobile media platforms
  • Increasing popularity of fantasy sports leagues
  • An interconnected global market for sports

(as cited in Media Week, 2009)

While four of these factors relate to the media, the first captures a key characteristic of sports. Simply put, the element of drama in sports captivates audiences and provides a compelling story. The drama of sport can be in the game, the players, the setting, or the presentation. Looking at the 2008 Olympics, drama emerged due to each of the preceding factors. With the games in China for the first time – a nation known for its isolationist past – many tuned in to learn about a country, which they knew little about. The games provided a means to learn of the fascinating country through the vehicle of athletic competition. Drama existed in presentation too, as 35 million viewers in the United States alone watched the opening ceremonies of the games (Grossman, 2008).

Your PhD proposal should cite studies with same and controversial points of view. Try to create an unbiased overview of the problem.

Because of its many spectators, this drama creates cultural icons out of athletes, such as Phelps, because of the qualities they appear to embody – strength, perseverance, and honor, among others. In this way, sports assume a second function, that of role models. Trujillo (1991) argued that the media personified the professional baseball player Nolan Ryan as a “culturally idealized form of masculine character,” (p. 290). Trujillo identified five features of masculinity: physical force and control; occupational achievement; family patriarchy; frontiersmanship; and heterosexuality.  Media images of Ryan promote these features, framing him as a hard-working, good-looking, cowboy who throws harder and faster than anyone. (Trujillo, 1991). While Ryan or many other athletes may not fully live up to their media-constructed identities, the perception tends to linger in the culture, often creating heroic figures.

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