Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Christy M. Ponticelli, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Donileen Loseke, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Leslie Irvine, Ph.D.


Invasive, Animals, Media, Social Problems


The problematization of non-human animals occurs through a process of claimsmaking that constructs certain species as “problems”. My thesis examines the news narrative constructions of the Muscovy duck in Florida and Texas. I use a narrative analysis to examine the themes through which news narratives make claims in their construction of the “duck wars” in Florida and Texas. In the “duck wars”, the problematization of the Muscovy occurs through a set of claims made about the species by the reporters and residents in Florida and Texas neighborhoods. There are also sets of claims about other groups associated with the species, like the two opposing groups, the “duck lovers” and “duck haters”, in the overarching narrative of the “duck wars”. The problematized characteristics attributed to the Muscovy all focus on how the Muscovy is either perceived to belong or not belong. These findings contribute to the othering processes that occur in narrative constructions of social problems and “problem” populations.

Included in

Sociology Commons