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How to analyze identification in storytelling?

A discussion on the second persona in storytelling from a Burkean perspective


  • Felix Pålsson

Summary, in English

This thesis examines the use of storytelling in advertising from a rhetorical perspective. Specifically, stories told in IKEA’s recent advertising campaign Där livet händer (Where life happens) will be analyzed. The purpose is to propose a way in which to analyze identification in storytelling. Departing from a Burkean perspective, building on Black’s concept of the second persona and Burke’s dramatism, this thesis puts forth the argument that IKEA successfully tells stories about an implied audience – “the Swede” – to which an actual audience – Swedish consumers – can rhetorically identify. Through close textual analysis of IKEA’s storytelling, this thesis concludes that the use of rhetorical devices – specifically metonymies understood as idiomatic tokens orientated toward a Swedish Weltanschauung – may have a successful rhetorical effect upon Swedish consumers by process of identification.


  • Rhetoric
  • Master's Programme: Language and Linguistics

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • audience
  • dramatism
  • Där livet händer
  • identification
  • IKEA
  • metaphor
  • metonymy
  • persona
  • persuasion
  • rhetoric
  • storytelling
  • Weltanschauung


  • Anders Sigrell (Prof.)