The News as Figurative Narratives

in Front Page Economics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780226781983
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226782010 | DOI:
The News as Figurative Narratives

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This chapter discusses only the “tropic” narratives that made sense of the 1929 “grab bag” of business, commerce, and such, and the 1987 economy. Then, it turns to the 1929 narrative for comparison. The 1987 narrative was the story of the marvelous machine. The two machine narratives do differ somewhat in content; the 1987 narrative caught the economic machine primarily in a burst of glory before a harrowing emergency landing in October and November. The 1930–86 narrative of the machine followed the economy over the long haul. The Dow Jones narrative was essentially a condensation of the stock price narrative. All of the narratives presented guide the reader toward a resolution of the “spurious present” into something that is comprehensible and less alarming. However, their rhetorical function dwells not only in crowd control, but also in moral regulation.

Keywords: business; commerce; 1987 economy; 1929; marvelous machine; economic machine; Dow Jones; stock price; moral regulation

Chapter.  9192 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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