Image Politics: The New Rhetoric of Environmental Activism / Edition 1

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From Greenpeace protesters confronting whaling ships to Earth First! activists occupying trees to stop logging, radical environmentalists increasingly rely upon attracting mass media coverage to gain visibility and public support. This book examines the use of "image events" as a rhetorical tactic, one that often supplants written or spoken arguments. Widely televised environmentalist actions are analyzed in depth to illustrate how the image event fulfills fundamental rhetorical functions in constructing and transforming identities, discourses, communities, cultures, and world views. Beyond the rhetorical power of image events, DeLuca also shows how they create opportunities for a politics that does not rely on centralized leadership or universal metanarratives. Illuminating the new political possibilities currently being enacted by radical environmental groups, the book lays out a rhetoric of the visual for our mediated age.

"...examines the use of 'image events' as a rhetorical tactic...illuminates the new political possibilities currently being enacted by radical environmental groups."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Kevin DeLuca sets out on a brave quest to understand the social forces unleashed in the postmodern age, as mediated reality constantly postures as Real Reality. Image Politics shows how the earth itself is given voice--a multiplicity of voices, actually--as environmentalists, capitalists, and the press do battle in the public square. DeLuca is a reliable guide to the resulting political fury." --Roderick P. Hart, Liddell Professor of Communication and Government, University of Texas at Austin

"DeLuca offers a penetrating reading of image events and their centrality in the rhetoric of new social movements. Using detailed case studies drawn from environmental activism, DeLuca analyzes 'imagefare' as an inevitable component of the struggle over the meaning of key political ideas. This book will be useful reading for students of rhetoric and media studies." --Dilip Gaonkar, PhD, Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

DeLuca speech communication, U. of Georgia examines the use of image events as a rhetorical tactic to illustrate how environmental groups' visual discourse acts as their primary means of communication often supplanting written or spoken arguments; how these image events can create opportunities for a politics that does not rely on centralized leadership; and how they can allow for alternative political meanings to emerge and disseminate even when activists are pictured negatively by the media. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572304611
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Series: Revisioning Rhetoric Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Michael DeLuca, PhD, has taught at the University of Virginia and the Pennsylvania State University and is currently an assistant professor of Speech Communication at the University of Georgia. His major area of interest is how industrial cultures relate to the natural world and construct visions of "nature." He has published articles on environmental politics, technology, the media, and postmodernism.
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Table of Contents

1. Making Waves
Meditation I
2. The Rhetoric of Social Movements: A Theoretical Diagnostics and Overhaul
3. Imaging Social Movements
Meditation II
4. The Possibilities of Nature in a Postmodern Age: The Case of Environmental Justice Groups
Meditation III
5. Participatory Democracy in Enemy Territory
6. Audiences, Dissemination, and Contexts: Rereading "War in the Woods"
7. Rhetoric and Social Change in a Postmodern Context
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