Religious dissolution and tragi-comic framing as communication constructs in the interpretation of culture



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis employs the methods of autoethnography and rhetorical analysis with the aim of interpreting and naming various communication constructs in the realms of religion and political comedy. Clearly, these methods diverge in their processes and styles, forming two different papers prepared for publication. Connecting the two pieces is a theme of split identity, wherein one uses a multi-layered positionality to communicate their reality in strategic ways. The first paper, an autoethnography, intimately describes my journey out of and away from the Lutheran faith. Though specific to my story, the paper describes a common occurrence in life—leaving what you know to forge a new path. The distinct forms of questioning that often lead to that kind of departure are named and defined within the piece. My hesitance to fully leave the Lutheran religion is also described. It is my hope that this autoethnographic work provides solace, extending outward to those who feel entangled with tradition but called to spiritual novelty. The second paper found in this thesis rhetorically analyzes the use of tragic and comic framing by a cross-cultural political comedian, as his identity and his communication methods allow him to connect with a faraway threat and his own audience. Through the use of the tragic and comic, the rhetor, Hasan Minhaj, forms a rich argument about the state of the U.S. economic relationship with Saudi Arabia. By volleying between the tragic and comic frames, the selected episode of Patriot Act becomes an example of how modern media should call out injustice in the tragic frame but maintain a level of self-reflexivity via the comic frame.

Embargo status: Restricted to TTU community only. To view, login with your eRaider (top right). Others may request access exception by clicking on the PDF link to the left.



Religion, Identity, Autoethnography, Political Comedy, Tragi-comic, Frames