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unit 2 rhetoric - “Rhetorical” Theories...

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Unformatted text preview: “Rhetorical” Theories “Rhetorical” • Rhetorical Theory: General o Oldest area of communication theory o Rhetoric: • Refers to the use of available means of persuasion, typically involving language involving • Has both positive and negative connotations o Rhetorical Theories: • Wide range of models and devices used to: o Improve one’s rhetoric (some are prescriptive, will give us guidelines on how to improve or will accomplish things) accomplish o Study/understand the use of rhetoric by others (what did they do well? What did they do (what problematic? What did they do to succeed) o Mainly falls in interpretive paradigm • Aristotle’s The Rhetoric Aristotle’s The o Key Assumptions: • Communicators must consider audience (very important while constructing speeches) while • Communicators must use a number of “proofs” o Three artistic proofs: (these will help us persuade) • Logos: focused on content; logic/evidence/ rationality • Pathos: emotional appeal (empathy) • Ethos: character of the speaker (trust, moral character, goodwill, qualifications, etc.) goodwill, • Aristotle’s Syllogisms & Enthymemes Aristotle’s o Syllogism: Deductive 3-part argument Syllogism: • Major premise: (Ex: Politicians are deceitful) • Minor premise: (Ex: Governor Z is a politician) • Conclusion: (Ex: Governor Z is deceitful) o Enthymeme: Syllogism whose function is rhetorical persuasion (Bitzer) • Audience fills in missing premise or conclusion • Audience is more persuaded when they can participate in this way this • Canons of Rhetoric o 5 characteristics of effective communication • Invention: Discovery of appropriate ideas/topics o Deliberative (more formal, could be in format of debate –like), forensic (evidence that is of relevant—anything related to the court), and relevant—anything epideictic speech genres (things like speeches epideictic for special occasions) for • Arrangement: structure/organization Arrangement: • Style: Use of speech devices to better persuade o Metaphor, simile, poetry, etc. • Delivery: voice, body, other nonverbals, etc. • Memory: strategies to help audience remember • Fisher’s Narrative Theory o Described as both a theory and paradigm o Sees stories and storytelling as natural and universal • Communicative accounts with beginning, middle, end, and characters • We tell stories and what we hear are stories o Fisher believes that all forms of communication can be analyzed as stories Fisher all • Others challenge this broad claim • Narrative Theory: Evaluation o The “goodness” of a story can be judged in terms of two criteria: Narrative coherence considers the integrity of a story’s structure o Does it hang together well and make sense? Do we find key element and needed details? Do we people behave as we might expect them to? people Narrative fidelity considers whether the story “rings true” with the beliefs of listeners of o Does it seem consistent/compatible with other stories? Does it fit with personal experience? Does it stories? ascribe to the highest values? ascribe o o o o • Kenneth Burke’s Rhetoric Burke’s work is wide-ranging and influential in rhetoric & communication Sees humans as symbol-using animals who act as agents in the world Sees symbol-using agents View of life as a drama Three main areas: • Identification and substance • Guilt and redemption • Pentad • Identification and Substance o Addresses division in world by appealing to common substance by process of Addresses division substance consubstantiation(refers to idea of being “one with”) to create identification consubstantiation(refers identification • Identification: sense of oneness; shared fate; defining oneself in terms of something or someone else oneself o Cheney notes several rhetorical strategies in Burke’s work to create identification: identification: o Common ground o Transcendent “we” o Uniting against a shared enemy o o o o • Guilt and Redemption Guilt: negative processes that alienate us • Pervasive part of human condition made apparent by hierarchy hierarchy Attempt to purge guilt is victimization: • Mortification: self/internal • Scapegoating: other/external Redemption is felt after guilt is purged …but this is an ongoing cycle • Burke’s Pentad o Model for understanding how we behave and talk about that behavior: • Act: what is done by person • Scene: historical and current context • Agent: person(s) performing act • Purpose: Goal of act • Agency: Means or methods to perform act o Relative use of various aspects of pentad are referred to as “ratios” • Can help in understanding and evaluating communication strategies used strategies ...
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