Addressing Postmodernity: Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change / Edition 2

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Overview


Biesecker reveals the full range of Kenneth Burke's contribution to the possibility of social change.

In Addressing Postmodernity, Barbara Biesecker examines the relationship between rhetoric and social change and the ways human beings transform social relations through the purposeful use of symbols.  In discerning the conditions of possibility for social transformation and the role of human beings and rhetoric in it, Biesecker turns to the seminal work of Kenneth Burke.

Through a close reading of Burke's major works, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and The Rhetoric of Religion:  Studies in Logology, Biesecker addresses the critical topic of the
fragmentation of the contemporary lifeworld. As Biesecker shows, postmodernity will have a major impact on Burkeian scholarship and on the rhetorical critique of social relations in general.

Biesecker confronts directly the challenges posed by postmodernity to social theorists and critics alike. In juxtaposing the work of Burke and Jurgen Habermas, Biesecker argues that a radicalized rereading of Burke's theory of the negative opens the way toward a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Addressing Postmodernity is an example of how rhetoric and cultural studies might be combined to develop the kind of social theory that will be necessary to sustain us in the years ahead."
—John Louis Lucaites, Indiana University

"Biesecker reveals Burke's energy and originality and her own talent in bringing understanding and significance to his theories. This volume is also a pragmatic application for postmodern societal fragmentation. . . . An important source for rhetoricians, philosophers, and sociologists, this book will become a classic interpretation of Kenneth Burke's works."
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Biesecker reveals Burke's energy and originality and her own talent in bringing understanding and significance to his theories. This volume is also a pragmatic application for postmodern societal fragmentation. . . . An important source for rhetoricians, philosophers, and sociologists, this book will become a classic interpretation of Kenneth Burke's works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817310639
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Studies in Rhetoric and Communication Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 123
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Biesecker is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Entering the Fray 1
2 Reading Ontology in A Grammar of Motives 24
3 A Rhetoric of Motives, or Toward an Ontology of the Social 40
4 Further Speculations on the Dialectic: The Rhetoric of Religion 52
5 From Communicative Action to Rhetorical Invention 74
Notes 103
Works Cited 115
Index 121
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