COMM 401Interpreting Strategic DiscourseWeek Two Media/Mediation
From Film to TV Television represented the merger of motion picture technology with broadcasting technology. Telegraphs (1840s) and telephones (1870s) were examples of narrowcast communication media. Both were also dependent upon wired transmission.
Marconi and the Wireless Guglielmo Marconi: Invented wireless telegraphy (1894) – used code, not voice
TV Technology Lee De Forest was instrumental in moving Marconi’s wireless telegraphy to wireless telephony, allowing for the transmission of voice and music. De Forest was particularly known for the invention of the vacuum tube that was the beginning of modern electronics. Set the stage for broadcasting to mass audiences. Different from narrowcasting, or the person-to-person communication of telegraphy and telephony.
The Development of Broadcasting RCA, in 1926, purchased AT&T’s telephone group network to form the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) The began the affiliate system of programming—a national network broadcasting to local affiliates who would also provide their own programming. RCA’s monopoly was eventually subject to anti-trust moves by the government. In the 1940s, NBC-blue was sold and became ABC.
Understanding Media "Any hot medium allows of less participation than a cool one, as a lecture makes for less participation than a seminar, and a book for less than a dialogue."
The Current Media Landscape How would you describe the role of mediation on contemporary strategic discourse? What are your primary patterns of communication consumption? How are the messages you consume mediated? How does your media consumption differ from those who were media consumers 50 years ago? How will media consumers 50 years from now encounter strategic discourse differently from you?
COMM 401Interpreting Strategic DiscourseWeek Three Style
Theories of Language Representation theory of language: How does the language accurately, aesthetically, powerfully represent the world the human mind? Basis for formalistic study of style and language use. Meaning-centered theory of language: How do languages work to build and maintain humans’ individual and collective lives? Concerned with symbols and symbolicity.
Basic Precepts of Symbol Use Symbol systems are both outwardly and inwardly directed social structures: Symbols stand in place of something Symbols stand for ideas or feelings associated with the object, person, etc. Richards’ Semantic Triangle Thought Cat
Basic Precepts of Symbol Use Symbols embody people’s perceptions of and reactions toward the world. Sapir-Whorf theory of language constructionism. Richards’ approach to the importance of context to decide on meaning
Basic Precepts of Symbol Use Symbol systems are both public and private. Individual, idiosyncratic symbol systems. Co-cultural symbol systems. Meanings are never completely shared. Misunderstanding is the deliberate attempt to disrupt the sharing of meaning. Non-understanding is innocent, unintentional disrupting in meaning sharing.
Language in Cicero Rhetorica ad Herennium Elocutio: For Cicero, speaker purpose guided speaker style To prove—use the plain style To please—use the middle style To persuade—use the grand style Devoted to Principles of Style. 3 kinds of style: Grand/Swollen Middle/Slack or Drifting Simple/Meager Qualities of appropriate and finished Style include: Taste Artistic Composition
Style in Rhetoric Basic Criteria for style: Competent language use Clarity of language use Appropriateness of language use Impressiveness of language use Language use signals the different world views that define and shape rhetoric. Language use is imposed on a speaker by: The time when they live; The occasion of the rhetoric; The genre of the discourse.
Stuffy Style = lengthy clauses (more secondary structure); avoidance of simple words; use of the passive voice. The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
Tough Style = monosyllabic words; “to be” verbs; few adjectives. In my inaugural address I said that the liberty we espouse is a universal aspiration. Many Americans trace their roots back to Europe, and we can trace many of our founding ideals there, as well. It was a Frenchman who taught the framers of our Constitution the importance of the separation of powers. It was a Scot who explained the virtues of a free market. It was an Englishman who challenged us to correct the principal defect of our founding, the plague of slavery. And it was an Italian who gave us our name: America. George W. Bush, Weekly Radio Address, February 19, 2005
Sweet Style = you-orientation; many contractions; use of the active voice Tonight my friends, I ask you to join me for the next 100 days in telling John Kerry’s story and promoting his plans. Let every person in this hall and all across America say to him what he has always said to America: Send Me. The bravery that the men who fought by his side saw in battle I’ve seen in the political arena. When I was President, John Kerry showed courage and conviction on crime, on welfare reform, on balancing the budget at a time when those priorities were not exactly a way to win a popularity contest in our party. Bill Clinton, Democratic Convention Address, 2004
Metaphor in Rhetoric A metaphor explicitly or implicitly identifies one phenomenon with another phenomenon from which the first is literally distinct. Metaphors are offered as a source of illumination and reference. They provide perspective and orientation. Metaphors are most successful when they associate something unknown or ambiguous with something familiar and specific. Adapted from “Making Sense of Metaphors,” by Bernard J. Hibbitts, Cardozo Law Review
Analyzing Metaphors We analyze metaphors because they can provide insight into speaker motive, audience perception, and/or persuasive effect. Metaphors can be understood as a representation consisting of two parts. Tenor—subject of the metaphor Vehicle—the comparative device that “drives” the meaning of the metaphor
Archetypal Metaphors Water & Sea Light & Dark Human Body War Structural Animals Family Above & Below Forward & Backward Natural Phenomena Sexuality
Figures of Speech The use of language outside of its normal, denotative meaning. Can be used to amplify, beautify, enhance, give force to, a rhetorical use of language. Literally hundreds of figures of speech.
Figures of Speech “Let us go forth to lead the land we love.” John F. Kennedy—alliteration
Figures of Speech “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” Winston Churchill—anaphora
Figures of Speech “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Barry Goldwater—antithesis
Figures of Speech “For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him.” William Shakespeare—apostrophe
Figures of Speech “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” assonance
Figures of Speech “Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.” Douglas MacArthur—chiasmus
Figures of Speech “My vegetable love should growVaster than empires, and more slow;An hundred years should got to praiseThine eyes and on thine forehead gaze;Two hundred to adore each breast,But thirty thousand to the rest.” Andrew Marvell—hyperbole
Figures of Speech “I must be cruel only to be kind.” William Shakespeare—oxymoron
Figures of Speech “What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young.” George Bernard Shaw—paradox
Figures of Speech “England expects every man to do his duty.” Lord Nelson—personification
Figures of Speech “The U.S. won three gold medals” synecdoche
COMM 401Interpreting Strategic DiscourseWeek Three Narrative
Narrative in Ancient Rhetoric Romans took Aristotle’s four parts of a speech and added three more. Aristotle’s four parts: Proem Statement Argument Epilogue
Roman Rhetoric & Narrative Roman’s Seven Parts: Exordium (introduction) Arouse attention; orient listeners; conciliate Partition (preview) Narration Proof Refutation Digression (review) Peroration The place for emotional appeals
Burke’s Dramatism Dramatism: The foundation of dramatism is the concept of motive: the reasons why people do the things they do. Burke believed that all of life was drama (in the sense of fiction), and we may discover the motives of actors (people) by looking for their particular type of motivation in action and discourse. Pentad—treats language and thought primarily as modes of action: Act—What happened? Agency—How do agents act? What means do they use? Agent—Who was involved? What roles did they play? Scene—Where is the act happening? What is the background situation? Purpose—Why do the agents act?
Interpreting Narratives Narrative Criticism is best understood by: Understanding the components of rhetorical narratives; Examining the narrative tests that can be applied to rhetorical texts; Exploring the different narrative approaches: myth & psychoanalysis
Narrative Components Characters: Believability; plausibility; credibility Theme: Expression of theme; Resolution of theme Structure: Organization of the narrative; time/space dimensions of the narrative Narrative Voice: Who tells the narrative; perspective and orientation toward the narrative Peripeteia: Plot change; moment of meaning and shift in the plot Style: use of language, imagery, tropes, etc. in a narrative.
Narrative Tests Narrative probability: the story hangs together as a good story—all the elements are there, it is credible, etc. Narrative fidelity: the story resonates and is a sound reflection/articulation of good reasons.
Special Narratives—Myths Myths are stories about heroes and villains who engage in a series of larger-than-life actions that have outcomes that provide lessons for living. Myths are narratives that are not fully or literally true but that possess enough narrative fidelity to exert social power. Types of myths: Origin/Creation myths Heroic myths God/Goddess myths Eschatological myths Social myths
Name the Myth
Name the Myth
Name the Myth
Name the Myth
Psychoanalytic Interpretation Psychoanalysis is closely linked to narrative criticism. It is a special type of narrative analysis that interprets stories for their cultural tenets to assess the state of the human psyche. Based in the teachings of Sigmund Freud—others include Alfred Adler, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan. Freud was concerned with the treatment of mental illness. His theories are used to not only understand the mind, but also its products – literature, film, other discourses.
Assumption of Psychoanalytic Analysis Human thought and behavior are products of the interaction between the conscious and the subconscious. Id = unconscious and unexplainable repository of needs and desires Ego = conscious mind that reasons and restricts Superego = storehouse of teachings, admonitions, social values
Assumption of Psychoanalytic Analysis The conscious and the unconscious are products of childhood. Father is rival for mother’s love; fear of castration; Oedipus complex; father as source of superego. Lacan = this childhood process is rooted in language acquisition.
Assumption of Psychoanalytic Analysis The Centrality of the Dream Metaphor Media scholars especially focus on the power of dream metaphor to explain film and television.
Tools of Psychoanalytic Interpretation Identity themes: Finding in texts a theme by which the spectator/reader identifies himself or herself Oedipus complex: The effects of a continued attachment to the mother figure. Eros and Thanatos: How the conflict between life (eros) and death (thanatos) structures texts and meaning.
Psychoanalytic Symbolism The search for psychoanalytic meaning in both verbal and visual symbols.