RQ 4.12 Ashcraft and Flores (1)

RQ 4.12 Ashcraft and Flores (1) - Name: Michelle Praxmarer...

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Name: Michelle Praxmarer Group #: 25 Reading Questions: Rhetoric of Masculinity and Whiteness Ashcraft, K., and Flores, L. “Slave with white collars” Honor Code: “I attest that the answers and words here are my own” ___________________________________________ The authors, Karen Ashcraft and Lisa Flores, are members of CU’s Department of Communication, where they teach classes in organizational communication and gender (Ashcraft) and rhetoric, cultural studies, and race/ethnicity (Flores). Their provocative article is a good example of a kind of rhetorical study that critically attends to individual media “texts” (e.g. films, television shows, songs, advertisements) and tries to understand how they take shape within broader structures of discourse, identity, and power at a particular moment in history. In their case, they are interested in how two films— Fight Club and In the Company of Men re-present discourses of (white) masculinity and (white collar) work, reveal anxieties and tensions related to them, and (ritually) reconfirm lines of power and identity in society. Reading the essay : Start with the title, then the abstract (which isn’t as helpful in this case as it others; but the last sentence is important), and then look at the headings and sub-headings of the article. This will alert you to the central themes and prepare you for what will follow. Also note that though Aschraft and Flores use sophisticated ideas in places, they also write in a well-organized manner, and throw in a lot of signaling terms (e.g. “our argument is,”: “we claim,” “in sum”) that alert you to important points, in addition to providing transitions that help a reader follow along. . The basic structure of the article is: introduction to the article (1-2), theoretical introduction to masculinity (2-3) as discourse and filmic performance (3-4), its relation to work/labor (4-6), and an effort to understand masculinity and work in comparative historical contexts (turn of the 20 th and 21 st centuries) in relation to larger discourses of the ‘primitive’ and the ‘civilized’ (6-8). Their summary and preliminary analysis of the two films comes next (8-16), followed by a
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RQ 4.12 Ashcraft and Flores (1) - Name: Michelle Praxmarer...

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