Publication Date

Summer 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies


Anne Marie Todd


Advertisement, Communication, Foucault, Health, Public Health, Sexually Transmitted Disease

Subject Areas

Communication; Public health; Rhetoric


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a problem that has afflicted people in the USA for centuries. Health communication and mass communication scholars have attempted to determine the effectiveness of STD prevention campaigns. It is crucial for scholars to take into account the persuasiveness of these campaigns and beliefs that become significant to these campaigns.

This rhetorical history examines how acted as a patriotic ideograph in World War I and II STD prevention campaigns. A history of war and knowledge associated with STDs gives readers a broad overview of the cultural aspects that are a part of the context of this time. Examining using this method allows for expansion on the notions of how identification, normalization, and stigma affected STD prevention campaigns. Using Foucault's insights on discipline, this research shows how patriotism becomes the reward of the microgesture of practicing . This study concludes by addressing broader implications and questions for advertisers and researchers in ways that encourage the question: how do culture and ideals become involved in STD prevention campaigns.