Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hearit, Keith Michael

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication Studies


Tobacco Institute (Washington D.C.)--Public opinion; Tobacco industry--United States--Public opinion


Amidst allegations of the production and distribution of a potentially hazardous product, the tobacco industry has managed to maintain a viable position in the American marketplace. This is due in part to the creation of the Tobacco Institute, an institution formed to achieve legitimation for the tobacco industry. This thesis examines the efforts of the Tobacco Institute to sustain and create various degrees of legitimacy for the tobacco industry. To study these legitimation efforts, discourse presented by the Tobacco Institute, in the form of pamphlets and documents, is analyzed using rhetorical criticism as the methodology. In this analysis, Burke's theory of identification examines the ways the Tobacco Institute attempts to form linkages between itself and society. Francesconi's process of redefinition is used to explain the ways the Tobacco Institute redefines issues to favor the tobacco industry and to refute criticism. Work done by Dowling and Pfeffer is also used in an effort to show the ways an organization can achieve legitimacy.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [129]-133)


vi, 133 pages




Northern Illinois University

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