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Reece PeckReece Peck

Email: rpeck@weber.ucsd.edu


Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2012

B.A., Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT, 2004

Research Interests

My research examines the areas of television news, the New Right, populist rhetorical traditions and the cultural politics of class. In my dissertation "Fox Populism in the Great Recession", I bring these fields of study together in order to explain the popularity of Fox News's anti-statist interpretation of the late-2000s Recession. My project develops a theoretical framework for interpreting Fox News's televisual and journalistic form of populism. This framework draws upon sociological theories of class, political theories of populism and articulation, semiotic analysis, and concepts taken from the fields of Critical Communication, Cultural Sociology, and Journalism Studies.

Relatively little scholarship has been published on Fox News and even less that offers an in-depth cultural analysis of how the network is able to construct resonant narratives and points of identification. Addressing this gap in the literature, my dissertation demonstrates the textual sophistication of Fox News's populist mode of address by showing how the network framed news about the Great Recession to advance a conservative economic agenda. A crucial element to Fox's interpretive strategy was how the network's top hosts appropriated moral rationales (e.g. "deserving the fruits of one's labor") and social archetypes (e.g. producers vs. parasites) from the American populist rhetorical tradition that have been recycled in the U.S. political culture for centuries. This strategy was successful, I argue, because these early political discourses still inform underlying normative assumptions about class, work, and wealth distribution.


Culture Studies Association, La Jolla, CA, 2012, Culture Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois, 2010, International Conference Future Imperatives of Communication and Information for Development and Social Change Conference, Bangkok, Thailand, 2010 (invited), Binational Association of Schools of Communication, Hermosillo, Mexico, 2010, Binational Association of Schools of Communication, Mexicali, Mexico, 2007, Working Class Studies Association Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, 2007.

Honors and Awards

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, Westminster College, 2004-2005, University of California, President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship,2011-2012