What does it mean to earn something in America? What do Americans think we’ve earned in life, and what do we think we’ve gotten because of luck – good or bad? How important is it to Americans to earn what we have? And in recent years, as Americans’ confidence that we live in a meritocracy has wavered, has any of this changed?
This fall I completed my dissertation, which is about the meaning of merit in America. I examine mediated and personal stories about Americans’ lives to examine how our media culture constructs merit, how individuals relate to that construction, and whether the dynamic has changed shape in recent years. I am now at work transforming the project into a book.
Some of my other projects have examined how people use personal stories to make political arguments on blogs, how newspaper obituaries reflect and reinforce collective memory, and how biographical campaign ads claim presidential candidates became who they are. You can find my academic publications and conference presentations below.
Refereed journal articles
Jamieson, K.H. and Taussig, D. (Forthcoming, 2017). Disruption, demonization, deliverance, and norm destruction: the rhetorical signature of Donald J. Trump. Political Science Quarterly.
Taussig, D. (Forthcoming, 2018). The presidential life: How presidential candidates become who they are in biographical campaign materials.* The Atlantic Journal of Communication, 26(1).
*Awarded 2015 Top Student Paper by Political Communication Division of the National Communication Association
Taussig, D. (2016). Your story is our story: Collective memory in obituaries of US military veterans. Memory Studies, doi: 1750698016653441.
Taussig, D. (2015). “Living Proof: Autobiographical political argument in ‘We are the 53 Percent’ and ‘We are the 99 Percent.’” International Journal of Communication, 9, 1256-1274.
Taussig, D. (2016). Victoria A. Farrar-Myers & Justin S. Vaughn (Eds.), Controlling the Message: New Media in American Political Campaigns. International Journal of Communication, 10, 2144-2147.
Dilworth, R., and Taussig, D. 2016. “Boards and Commissions: Hybrid City Governance Structures.” CQ Press Guide to Urban Politics and Policy in the United States, eds. C. Palus and R. Dilworth, 173-183.
Taussig, D. (November 2016). “The changing meaning of ‘merit’ in 21st century media.” Position paper accepted for inclusion in the Media & Class Preconference at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Philadelphia, PA.
Taussig, D. (June 2016). “Make a Hollywood movie in 15 minutes.” Presentation accepted for presentation at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Instructional and Developmental Communication Division. Fukuoka, Japan.
Taussig, D. (November 2015). “The presidential life: How presidential candidates become who they are in biographical campaign ads.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Political Communication Division. Las Vegas, NV.
Taussig, D. (May 2015). “Living Proof: Autobiographical political argument in ‘We are the 53 Percent’ and ‘We are the 99 Percent.’” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Political Communication Division. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Taussig, D. (June 2014). “You’ve got you all wrong: Objecting to the narratives others tell about themselves online.” Paper presented at International Conference on Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Taussig, D. (November 2011). “The Daily News People’s Editorial Board.” Presented at the Engaging Communities Conference at Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism, Philadelphia, PA.