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Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
Rhetoric And Public Controversy
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Rhetoric And Public Controversy

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Research presentation delivered to undergraduate students enrolled in a persuasion course.

Research presentation delivered to undergraduate students enrolled in a persuasion course.

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  • 1. Rhetoric and Public Controversy: Studying a Pragmatic Art
  • 2. Definitions of rhetoric <ul><li>Aristotle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available means of persuasion in a democracy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ramus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The superfluous interests of style and delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Burke </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Symbolic action understood as drama </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Postmodern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rhetoric as the foundation of reality/ever-present </li></ul></ul>
  • 3. Types of Communication Theory <ul><li>Psychological </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“I” speak to “you” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desired outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clarity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rapport </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems include </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Noise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Distraction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different mental sets </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Sociological </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interaction process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>core human phenomenon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups not individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desired Outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reproduction of order </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems include </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tacit or implicit rules </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competing values </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Situational focus </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 4. Pragmatic Communication <ul><li>Goal oriented or strategic communication </li></ul><ul><li>Reality described as a game of interlocking moves (e.g., chess or War) </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict requires resolution </li></ul><ul><li>Drawbacks include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Us versus them mentality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sophistication of skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirements for recognizance </li></ul></ul>
  • 5. Rhetoric as a Pragmatic Social Art <ul><li>Agreed upon rules establish strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monopoly—free parking or the bank </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decorum—fitness to occasion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goal oriented while respecting opposition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maxim: What goes around comes around </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incremental change preserving identities and social order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desired changes rarely re-work fundamental assumptions </li></ul></ul>
  • 6. Methodological Interests <ul><li>Criticism of rhetorical artifacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1968, Edwin Black questioned the fundamental sufficiency of neo-classical rhetorical criticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By 1985, rhetorical criticism ceased to be a methodology and emerged as a collection of methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Burke-based criticism—clusters, pentad, representative anecdote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fantasy theme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feminist </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Generative </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 7. Methodological Rigor: Objectivity <ul><li>The Scientific Method demands objectivity, precision, and being replicable </li></ul><ul><li>The Scientific Assumption in Rhetorical Criticism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone similarly trained should be able to redo your study and find the same results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Careful definitions and explanations facilitate these scientific goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone doing a forensic analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird should come to the same conclusion </li></ul></ul>
  • 8. Methodological Rigor: Subjectivity <ul><li>Subjective research presumes the researcher has unique training and insight </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of subjective rhetorical criticism is to clarify the researcher’s unique perspective in shared theoretical and methodological terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore, nobody but Brad Gangnon could write the Building for Women controversy </li></ul></ul>
  • 9. Research Presumptions <ul><li>Phenomenological Basis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection on lived experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Insider Access </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent Textual Themes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Directing attention toward the text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic—seeing patterns within artifacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of theory leads to question about organic patterns </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. Position of Research in Project <ul><li>Relationship to Tina Welsh and Rosemary Rocco </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tina—friend and hero </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rosie—hero and friend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationship to Women’s Health Center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer training Operation Rescue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overnight at Arrowhead Place </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationship to Building for Women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Security guard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Janitor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historian </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. Procedures <ul><li>Photocopied Duluth News-Tribune articles from Dec 1993-Oct 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of recurring themes (organic), including abortion, pro-life, neutrality </li></ul><ul><li>Addition of feminist themes, including “their women”, violence against women </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of artifacts by genre based on Gowler editorial (news, opinion, advertising) </li></ul>
  • 12. The Pragmatic Problem <ul><li>The Building for Women (BFW) represents a unique partnership among not-for-profit agencies providing services to women </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Health Center, Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, and Young Women’s Christian Association </li></ul>
  • 13. Women’s Health Center <ul><li>Provider of numerous health services to women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mammography, STDs, pap smears, birth control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provider of first trimester aspiration abortions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physicians travel to Duluth, including Dr. George Miks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Due to protesting and interference with other tenants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical Arts Building; Arrowhead Place </li></ul></ul>
  • 14. Timeline as historical context <ul><li>May 1993, WHC lease not renewed at Arrowhead Place </li></ul><ul><li>Welsh calls all women’s organization together same month </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Partnership formed Aug 1993, PAVSA as agent </li></ul><ul><li>Building purchased and renovations begun </li></ul><ul><li>Jan Pilon learns of BFW and informs Bishop </li></ul>
  • 15. What can be done? <ul><li>The BFW is purchased, undergoing remodeling, and ready for move in by Dec 15 </li></ul><ul><li>Bishop Schwietz and pro-life community KNOW they cannot stop BFW </li></ul><ul><li>Public Relations/grassroots campaign to slow progress and block grants </li></ul>

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