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Kenneth Burke and Theory of Identification Bao Thai NGUYEN (s3221678) Chen-Hsi Wu (s3260665)
Content Recap Theory of Identification  The states, sources and dimensions of Identification
Recap Rhetoric Persuasion Theory of Persuasion Cognitive Dissonance Theory Theory of Reasoned Action Social Judgment Theory
Theory of Identification Developed by Kenneth Duva Burke, an influential rhetorician and philosopher Published in Burke’s book, “Rhetoric of Motives” (1950) Argues that persuasion only function when there is a similarity between the speakers and the hearers Kenneth Duva Burke  (May 5, 1897 – November 19, 1993)
Terminology Properties: Any sensation, concept, image, idea, or attitude which we use to identify ‘substance’  Burke defines “substance” as action – from old philosophies;
Consubstantiality (or Identification) The state of two ‘substances’ share a common ‘property’
Theory of Identification Definition: The Speaker, by using linguistic ‘strategies’ which give ‘signs’ to his hearers that his ‘properties’ are similar to or identical with their ‘properties,’ achieves identification or ‘consubstantiality’ and thereby achieves persuasion. Example: Politicians frequently use “we”, or “our” during their public speech in order to relate them with the audiences. Winston Churchill “Their Finest Hour” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsKDGM5KTBY&feature=player_embedded
Strategies Formal Appeal Antithesis ‘Assumed we’
3 States of Identification 1. The process of naming something (or someone) according to specific properties 2. The process of associating with and disassociating from others 3. The product or end result of identifying
Sources of Identification Materialistic Identification Idealistic Identification Formal Identification Identification through Mystification
Materialistic Identification Through properties, things that are capable of being touched Ex.
Idealistic Identification Through interests, ideas, attitudes, feelings, values, experience, perception, etc. Ex. The speech of Pope Urban II encourage numerous people to join the Crusade by their belief of God in 11th century
Formal Identification Based on the identification that arises from the form, arrangement, or organization in which both parties participate   Ex. To identify with someone by the classes or party go together
Identification through Mystification “People of lower strata in a hierarchy often identify with people at the top hierarchy” (Stephen & Karen, 2008) People at the top hierarchy tend to not present the division between high and low hierarchy Ex.
About Theory of Identification The concept itself is not unique to modern American rhetorical theory. Similar to Phillips’s principle of reference to experience and Winans’s theory of common ground.
Application and Limitation of Theory of Identification Application To provide an additional tool to evaluate or explain certain events or communication process To reinforce people’s rhetoric practice with careful observation and skillful association to the others Limitation Due to the development of communication technology, theory of identification may not be applied in some media channels where face-to-face communication is unavailable. Fail to mention if similarities can be real or fake. Fake identity in order to seek similarity for persuasion purpose, would it increase the persuasiveness?
Case Study http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_2vWfLceuo&feature=player_embedded
Conclusion Theory of Identification  Persuasion can be only achieved when the speaker and the hearer share common interests Stages of Identification Observe the object Associate with and disassociate from other The result of identification Sources of Identification Material Idealistic Formal Mystification
References Burke, Kenneth D 1950, ‘A Rhetoric of Motives’, University of California Press, London, UK, 65-69 Day, Dennis G 1960, ‘Persuasion and the concept of Identification’, Quarterly Journal of Speech, 46:3, 270-273 Littlejohn, SW & Foss, KA 2008, ‘Theories of Human Communication’, 9th edit, Thomson Wadsworth, USA, 115 Quigley, Brooke L 1998, ‘Identification as a key term in Kenneth Burke’s rhetorical theory’, American Communication Journal, The University of Memphis

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Kenneth burke and theory of identification

  • 1. Kenneth Burke and Theory of Identification Bao Thai NGUYEN (s3221678) Chen-Hsi Wu (s3260665)
  • 2. Content Recap Theory of Identification The states, sources and dimensions of Identification
  • 3. Recap Rhetoric Persuasion Theory of Persuasion Cognitive Dissonance Theory Theory of Reasoned Action Social Judgment Theory
  • 4. Theory of Identification Developed by Kenneth Duva Burke, an influential rhetorician and philosopher Published in Burke’s book, “Rhetoric of Motives” (1950) Argues that persuasion only function when there is a similarity between the speakers and the hearers Kenneth Duva Burke (May 5, 1897 – November 19, 1993)
  • 5. Terminology Properties: Any sensation, concept, image, idea, or attitude which we use to identify ‘substance’ Burke defines “substance” as action – from old philosophies;
  • 6. Consubstantiality (or Identification) The state of two ‘substances’ share a common ‘property’
  • 7. Theory of Identification Definition: The Speaker, by using linguistic ‘strategies’ which give ‘signs’ to his hearers that his ‘properties’ are similar to or identical with their ‘properties,’ achieves identification or ‘consubstantiality’ and thereby achieves persuasion. Example: Politicians frequently use “we”, or “our” during their public speech in order to relate them with the audiences. Winston Churchill “Their Finest Hour” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsKDGM5KTBY&feature=player_embedded
  • 8. Strategies Formal Appeal Antithesis ‘Assumed we’
  • 9. 3 States of Identification 1. The process of naming something (or someone) according to specific properties 2. The process of associating with and disassociating from others 3. The product or end result of identifying
  • 10. Sources of Identification Materialistic Identification Idealistic Identification Formal Identification Identification through Mystification
  • 11. Materialistic Identification Through properties, things that are capable of being touched Ex.
  • 12. Idealistic Identification Through interests, ideas, attitudes, feelings, values, experience, perception, etc. Ex. The speech of Pope Urban II encourage numerous people to join the Crusade by their belief of God in 11th century
  • 13. Formal Identification Based on the identification that arises from the form, arrangement, or organization in which both parties participate Ex. To identify with someone by the classes or party go together
  • 14. Identification through Mystification “People of lower strata in a hierarchy often identify with people at the top hierarchy” (Stephen & Karen, 2008) People at the top hierarchy tend to not present the division between high and low hierarchy Ex.
  • 15. About Theory of Identification The concept itself is not unique to modern American rhetorical theory. Similar to Phillips’s principle of reference to experience and Winans’s theory of common ground.
  • 16. Application and Limitation of Theory of Identification Application To provide an additional tool to evaluate or explain certain events or communication process To reinforce people’s rhetoric practice with careful observation and skillful association to the others Limitation Due to the development of communication technology, theory of identification may not be applied in some media channels where face-to-face communication is unavailable. Fail to mention if similarities can be real or fake. Fake identity in order to seek similarity for persuasion purpose, would it increase the persuasiveness?
  • 18. Conclusion Theory of Identification Persuasion can be only achieved when the speaker and the hearer share common interests Stages of Identification Observe the object Associate with and disassociate from other The result of identification Sources of Identification Material Idealistic Formal Mystification
  • 19. References Burke, Kenneth D 1950, ‘A Rhetoric of Motives’, University of California Press, London, UK, 65-69 Day, Dennis G 1960, ‘Persuasion and the concept of Identification’, Quarterly Journal of Speech, 46:3, 270-273 Littlejohn, SW & Foss, KA 2008, ‘Theories of Human Communication’, 9th edit, Thomson Wadsworth, USA, 115 Quigley, Brooke L 1998, ‘Identification as a key term in Kenneth Burke’s rhetorical theory’, American Communication Journal, The University of Memphis

Editor's Notes

  1. Fantastic usage of rhetoric by Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights’s pilot episode. The words resonate: it’s the lilt of his voice, the fall of “fall,” the prosodic nuance; it’s the breath with which he speaks, the pauses; it’s the repetition, and it’s the slant rhymes; it’s everything, really. The emotional impact of FNL more generally is a testament not only to the excellence of the scriptwriters.(Not having been an athlete myself, I wonder if in fact high school sports coaches do employ effective rhetoric when delivering pep talks…? How else does one motivate a ragtag team of underdogs?)