Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2013

Level of Access

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Rhetoric

Number of Pages

105

First Advisor

Kelley-Romano, Stephanie

Abstract

On October 5th, 2011 the cofounder and President of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, passed away. His death invoked a tremendous exhibit of grief from the public, complete with candlelight vigils, shrines, and a surge of digital activity praising his accomplishments. Many of the tributes and obituaries to the deceased American icon used religious language and motifs. This cooptation of sacred symbols by the media reflects a growing tendency to sacralize technology in the modern era. As traditional religions morph, many individuals search for a different means of spiritual engagement and for some, Apple’s devices are perceived as a way of connecting with the divine. In conjunction with this phenomenon, the mainstream media outlets have delineated Steve Jobs as the central figure of a religious movement by chronicling his life. Utilizing the theories developed by Wilson Moses and James Darsey on messianism and the rhetorical creation of a prophet, this thesis critically views the construction of The Messianic Myth of Apple. This narrative frames Apple as the heart of a messianic movement grounded in the ideals of change and transcendence through technology. Meanwhile, Jobs assumes the role of prophet, the savior who provides devices of individual, social, and mystical satisfaction.

Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

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