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gearheartrdgquestions - Rhetorical Foundations COMM 3300...

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Rhetorical Foundations COMM 3300 Reading Questions: Sally Miller Gearhart—“The Womanization of Rhetoric” [1979]) Gearhart’s article is an excellent example of how feminist theory began to come together with rhetorical theory in the 1970s, and offer critiques of traditional assumptions. 1. What is the main claim of this article? “This paper suggests that those of us who have been studying the theory/practice/criticism of public discourse – from Plato and Aristotle to modern advertising’s motivational researchers – have been advocates and mentors of violence. It further suggests that a female model of communication is not only the antidote to such violence but the necessary alternative to our self- destruction as a species” [synopsis]. She also argues her claim that “our discipline of rhetoric springs from my belief that any intent to persuade is an act of violence” [p 195]. She explains the importance of the conversion model of human interaction in that humans feel the need not only to conquer another individual but to also feel as though they had provided the individual with what he or she really needed. Our society is made up of both conquest and conversion and Gearhart references deliberative, judicial, and epeiditc speech in relation to conquest and conversion of the audience. Gearhart then brings up the question of how we can change our world without the heritage of violence in our society. She then explains the concept of an egg
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