Inventing citizens during world war i: Suffrage cartoons in the woman citizen

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The rhetoric of the First Wave of American feminism was consistently responsive to its cultural contexts and evolved into many different forms as contexts changed and the movement matured. This analysis examines the rhetorical invention strategies of suffrage rhetoric as it responded to the cultural context of World War I. Specifically, I focus on the political cartoons that were published in the mainstream Suffrage Movement's chief organ at this time, The Woman Citizen. Through a construction of woman as strong, competent, and essential to the war effort, suffragists exploited the persuasive resources of this specific cultural context to construct a new definition of “loyal citizen” and offer up new identification possibilities for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-147
Number of pages35
JournalWestern Journal of Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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